Game One Hundred Nineteen – Cubs 10 Braves 2
WP – Jason Marquis (8-7) LP – Charlie Morton (3-6) Save – None
Game One of a Day-Night Doubleheader
Lou Piniella’s crew began a difficult day with their 6th straight win on the road and improved to 25 games over .500 for the first time this season. Jason Marquis ended a personal losing streak to the Braves and posted his first career win against the organization that drafted him. Marquis gave up just 2 runs on 6 hits in 5 1/3 innings and worked his way out of a bases loaded jam in the 3rd inning.
Jim Edmonds, Geovany Soto, Aramis Ramirez and Mark DeRosa led the way offensively. Soto drove in the first two runs of the game with a double in the 2nd and added his 18th home run of the year in the 8th….his 2-run shot capped the scoring for the Cubs and his 4 RBI afternoon. Edmonds hit a 2-run homer in the 3rd that put the Cubs up by a score of 4-0 and drove in his third run of the game with a double in the 5th. Mark DeRosa was 2-for-3 with 2 walks, 3 runs scored and a RBI. Aramis Ramirez scored a pair of runs and was 2-for-4 with a walk and a RBI.
Alfonso Soriano finished 2-for-6 in his return to Atlanta but it was his single in the 8th that created a little controversy. Soriano hit what he thought was a home run on a 3-2 pitch from Francisley Bueno. Soriano ‘admired‘ his work but the ball hit half way up on the way and Soriano reached 1st on what should have least been a double. Lou Piniella appeared frustrated after the play and Soriano took his position in left field in the bottom of the inning.
Soriano’s spot in the lineup came back around in the 9th and Francisley Bueno sent a message. Bueno threw a fastball toward the head of Soriano and somehow he was not hit. Ed Rapuano tossed Bueno immediately and Soriano apologized to his manger and team following the game.
Other than the incident with Soriano, the first game of the day-night doubleheader started a difficult road trip on a positive note…. After a scheduled day off on Monday and a rainout on Tuesday one wondered how the Cubs’ offense would fare against rookie Charlie Morton. Would they be rusty? Or would they be mesmerized by another rookie pitcher? It turned out to be neither and the Cubs chased Morton after just 2 1/3 innings and set a tone for the entire day.
After going quietly in the 1st inning, Jim Edmonds worked a walk to start the 2nd. Charlie Morton continued to struggle with his command and walked Mark DeRosa. With runners on 1st and 2nd and no outs, Geovany Soto stepped in and ripped a 2-1 pitch into right center. The ball rolled to the wall and both Edmonds and DeRosa scored.
Ryan Theriot walked but Jason Marquis could not get the bunt down. Marquis and Alfonso Soriano struck out and Kosuke Fukudome grounded out to short to end the inning.
Aramis Ramirez singled to center with 1-out in the 3rd and scored on Jim Edmonds’ 16th homer of the year (15th as a Cub) to left field. After a walk to Mark DeRosa, Bobby Cox replaced Charlie Morton with Buddy Carlyle.
Morton allowed 4 runs on 4 hits in 2 1/3 innings with 4 walks and 3 strikeouts on 70 pitches.
Carlyle retired the Cubs in order in the 4th and after Bobby Cox was ejected for the 142nd time in his career for arguing with Joe West about the lights (the lights came on in the bottom of the 4th, West had them turned off. By rule, lights must be turned on in the top of an inning so the home team does not gain an advantage), Aramis Ramirez drew a 1-out walk and scored on a double to right center by Jim Edmonds. Mark DeRosa followed with another double, this time to left, that plated Edmonds with the Cubs’ sixth run.
Geovany Soto singled to left and with runners on 1st and 3rd with 1 out, Ryan Theriot hit a grounder to 1st base. Casey Kotchman threw to 2nd, forced Soto but Yunel Escobar’s throw was wide, Theriot was safe and DeRosa scored….7-1 Cubs.
Alfonso Soriano singled to right to start the 6th and scored on a 2-out double off the wall in center by Aramis Ramirez.
Mark DeRosa led off the 9th with a single to right and scored on the 2-run blast to center by Geovany Soto.
Jason Marquis did his job on Wednesday afternoon and turned in a solid outing. Anytime a team can get the type of performance out of their 5th starter that Lou Piniella did on Wednesday has to be thrilled. Marquis kept the opposition off the board and gave his team time to plate runs while eating innings for his manager.
Neal Cotts picked up the last 2 outs in the 6th inning and Jeff Samardzija gave up 2 hits and struck out 2 in 2 innings of shutout work. Bobby Howry pitched a scoreless 9th inning.
It was good to see the Cubs swing the bat in game one….and for Jason Marquis to beat the Atlanta Braves.