Phillies
Cubs
2 - 3 Final
  for this game

Soriano homers as red-hot Cubs extend streak

Aug 29, 2008 - 11:36 PM CHICAGO (Ticker) -- The Chicago Cubs seemingly can do no wrong.

Alfonso Soriano snapped a tie with a solo home run in the seventh inning Friday as the Cubs rallied for a 3-2 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies, extending their winning streak to seven games after benefiting from a questionable call at first base.

Chicago, which improved its major league-best record to 85-50, is on pace to win 100 games for the first time since 1935. The Cubs entered Friday's contest with a season-high 6 1/2-game lead over the Milwaukee Brewers (77-56) in the National League Central.

"It's a different guy every day," Soriano said. "Yesterday, it was (Aramis) Ramirez (whose grand slam gave Chicago a 6-4 win over the Phillies). Tomorrow, it will be somebody else. That is the sign of a good team."

Facing former teammate Joe Blanton, Chicago starter Rich Harden was not sharp, throwing 100 pitches in five innings, although he allowed just one earned run.

Rookie Jeff Samardzija (1-0) tossed 1 1/3 innings to record his first career win and Carlos Marmol registered the final five outs for his seventh save as closer Kerry Wood was unavailable. Wood pitched in each of the four previous games.

The Cubs won with only four hits Friday, and manager Lou Piniella was asked if his team, which has not won a World Series in 100 years, might have destiny on its side.

"I don't believe in destiny," Piniella said. "I believe in good pitching. I believe in good hitting and good defense. Those are the only things that help you win ballgames."

After Samardzija pitched a scoreless seventh, Soriano's homer off Clay Condrey (3-4) in the bottom half - his 23rd of the season - gave the Cubs a 3-2 lead.

Samardzija, however, may have received some help from first base umpire Chris Guccione in the top of the seventh. With runners on the corners and two outs, first baseman Derrek Lee was unable to handle a hard grounder by Ryan Howard.

Lee chased down the ball and flipped to Samardzija covering for the final out, but replays indicated that Howard was across the bag before the ball reached Samardzija's glove. Between innings, Phillies third base coach Steve Smith was ejected during a lengthy argument.

"I didn't know if he was safe or not," Samardzija said. "It happened so fast, I didn't hear him hit the bag. I just wanted to get to the bag and get the ball. The umpire called him out, so he is out."

"That's baseball and that's the way it goes," added Phillies manager Charlie Manuel, who was not ejected. "When umpires make a call, I have never seen them change it."

The Phillies had grabbed a 2-0 lead on Pat Burrell's RBI single in the first and an error by right fielder Kosuke Fukudome in the fifth that allowed Chase Utley to score.

Chicago halved the deficit in the bottom of the fifth on a run-scoring groundout by pinch hitter Daryle Ward and pulled even in the sixth, when former Cub Scott Eyre walked Fukudome with the bases loaded.

Blanton allowed only two hits in 5 2/3 innings but got himself in trouble by walking the bases loaded in the sixth.

"I have never walked that many guys in an inning," Blanton said. "I could live with myself better if I had given up that many hits instead."

Samardzija, who has not allowed a run in 12 appearances in August, ran into trouble again in the eighth, giving up a single to Burrell and walking Jayson Werth, but he got Greg Dobbs to fly out before Marmol struck out pinch hitter Pedro Feliz and Chris Coste.

"The thing about this team is we compete for nine innings," Lee said. "We find different ways to win every day. When you look at our record, you realize that's the only way to obtain a record like that."

The Phillies have dropped three in a row after briefly moving into first place in the NL East on Tuesday, when they rallied from a seven-run deficit to beat the first-place New York Mets, 8-7, in 13 innings.

"It definitely frustrating," Howard said of the controversial play. "It changed the outcome of the game and the momentum of the game. Instead of being down 3-2, they come out of the inning. Then, Soriano comes up and hits a home run."






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    Phillies 2, Cubs 3  FinalAug 29 10:10 PM


  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    PHILADELPHIA 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 2 6 0
    CHICAGO CUBS 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 x 3 4 1 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: PHI - JOE BLANTON, SCOTT EYRE (6TH), CLAY CONDREY (7TH), RUDY SEANEZ
    (8TH) AND CARLOS RUIZ, CHRIS COSTE (6TH)
    CHN - RICH HARDEN, CHAD GAUDIN (6TH), JEFF SAMARDZIJA

    Aug 29 5:24 PM


  • NL
    AT CHICAGO CUBS - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY ALFONSO SORIANO (23) TO CENTER WITH 1 OUT
    IN THE 7TH OFF CLAY CONDREY.
    CURRENT SCORE: PHILADELPHIA 2, CHICAGO CUBS 3
    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: R THERIOT (.312, 0-FOR-2, BB)

    Phillies 2, Cubs 3  Bot 7, 0 OutsAug 29 4:50 PM
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    RUWTbot Took away 72 roots (Close Finish)

    Phillies 2, Cubs 3  Bot 7, 0 OutsAug 29 4:50 PM
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    Phillies 2, Cubs 2  Bot 7, 0 OutsAug 29 4:48 PM
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    Phillies 2, Cubs 2  Bot 7, 0 OutsAug 29 4:40 PM
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    Phillies 2, Cubs 2  Top 7, 0 OutsAug 29 4:31 PM


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    AT CHICAGO CUBS - SCORING UPDATE
    BASES LOADED WALK TO KOSUKE FUKUDOME SCORED RYAN THERIOT.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, K FUKUDOME ON FIRST, M DEROSA ON SECOND, D
    LEE ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PHILADELPHIA 2
    CHICAGO CUBS 2 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: H BLANCO (.283, 1-FOR-2)

    Phillies 2, Cubs 2  Bot 6, 0 OutsAug 29 4:27 PM
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    Phillies 2, Cubs 1  Bot 6, 0 OutsAug 29 4:21 PM


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    AT CHICAGO CUBS - SCORING UPDATE
    FIELDER'S CHOICE BY DARYLE WARD SCORED MARK DEROSA.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, D WARD ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PHILADELPHIA 2
    CHICAGO CUBS 1 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: A SORIANO (.292, 0-FOR-1, BB)

    Phillies 2, Cubs 1  Bot 5, 0 OutsAug 29 3:55 PM
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    Phillies 2, Cubs 0  Bot 5, 0 OutsAug 29 3:43 PM


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    AT CHICAGO CUBS - SCORING UPDATE
    ERROR BY KOSUKE FUKUDOME ALLOWED CHASE UTLEY TO SCORE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, R HOWARD ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PHILADELPHIA 2
    CHICAGO CUBS 0 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR PHILADELPHIA: P BURRELL (.259, 1-FOR-2, RBI)

    Phillies 2, Cubs 0  Top 5, 0 OutsAug 29 3:42 PM
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    Phillies 1, Cubs 0  Top 5, 0 OutsAug 29 3:34 PM
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    Phillies 1, Cubs 0  Bot 4, 0 OutsAug 29 3:31 PM


  • NL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    PHILADELPHIA 1 1 1 0
    CHICAGO CUBS 0 0 0 (BOT 1)

    CURRENT PITCHERS: PHI - JOE BLANTON
    CHN - RICH HARDEN

    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: A SORIANO (.293, 22 HR, 62 RBI)
    R THERIOT (.313, 1 HR, 34 RBI)
    D LEE (.294, 18 HR, 77 RBI)

    Phillies 1, Cubs 0  Bot 1, 0 OutsAug 29 2:32 PM
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    Phillies vs. CubsAug 27 3:43 AM