Game Twenty-Four – Cubs 11 Diamondbacks 5
WP – Randy Wells (3-0) LP – Rodrigo Lopez (1-1) Save – None
Lou Piniella’s crew took advantage of the extra opportunities they were given and ended their three-game losing streak on Friday afternoon. The Cubs battled back from an early 3-0 deficit but if Thursday was ‘only’ one loss then Friday is only one win. The Cubs needed Friday’s victory now it is time to work on playing consistent winning baseball.
The Cubs returned the favor from Thursday and hit four longballs of their own on Friday … including back-to-back jacks by Geovany Soto and Marlon Byrd in the eighth. The first time the Cubs hit homers in consecutive at bats on the young season.
Kosuke Fukudome put the Cubs on the board in the fourth inning. The Cubs first hit of the game ended up in the bleachers in right and started the comeback.
Alfonso Soriano had a huge day. Soriano doubled and scored the Cubs’ second run in the fifth. Then hit the eventual game winner in the sixth … a three-run shot to the stands in left center that gave the Cubs a 6-4 lead.
Soriano capped his four RBI day by drawing a bases loaded walk in the seventh off of Aaron Heilman that forced in Fukudome with the Cubs ninth run. Soriano finished 2-for-3 with a walk, a three-run homer, a double, two runs scored and four RBI.
The turning point in the game came in the sixth inning with the Cubs down by two runs.
Ryan Theriot (1-for-4 with a run scored) and Kosuke Fukudome (2-for-3 with two walks, three runs scored, a home run and a RBI) reached on back-to-back singles to start the inning. After Derrek Lee popped out to a sliding Justin Upton in right, Aramis Ramirez hit a routine pop up to the middle of the infield. Rodrigo Lopez tried to make the catch instead of allowing one of his infielders to make the play. Adam LaRoche bumped into Lopez and the ball fell to the ground. The D’Backs error loaded the bases with one out for Tyler Colvin.
Colvin hit a sacrifice fly to center, Theriot tagged and scored. Alfonso Soriano stepped in and ripped Rodrigo Lopez’s first pitch into the bleachers in left center. The Cubs took a 6-4 lead and kept tacking on.
The Cubs scored at least one run over the last five innings of the game.
Randy Wells was hit pretty hard but considering the conditions at Wrigley it was a decent outing. The most important stat for Wells is that he did not walk a batter in his six-plus innings of work. Wells allowed five runs, all earned on eight hits. Wells struck out eight and served up his first longball of the year to Chris Snyder in the seventh that ended his afternoon.
John Grabow quietly put together his best inning of work this season. The much-maligned Grabow took over for Wells in the seventh with the Cubs up by a 6-5 score. Grabow retired all three batters he faced … and struck out both Kelly Johnson and Stephen Drew.
The Cubs pen of Grabow, Carlos Zambrano and Carlos Marmol threw three-shutout innings, struck out six, walked only one and surrendered three hits.
With the win, the Cubs improved to 11-13 on the season and 5-6 at Wrigley Field … Randy Wells retired the first six batters he faced on Friday afternoon. Cole Gillespie recorded the D’Backs first hit, a double to start the third. Wells sat down the next three in order and appeared to be in full control.
Stephen Drew started Arizona’s three-run fourth with a double to left center. Justin Upton struck out on a check swing. Mark Reynolds doubled to right center on a 2-2 pitch and plated Drew with the game’s first run. The first three hits for the D’Backs were doubles.
Wells retired Adam LaRoche on a lineout to second but Gerardo Parra singled to right with two outs and plated Reynolds … 2-0 D’Backs.
Cole Gillespie then doubled down the right field line on a check swing. Parra scored … 3-0 Arizona and with the way the Cubs’ offense had struggled to that point against Rodrigo Lopez the game appeared to be over.
Kosuke Fukudome put the Cubs on the board with his fifth homer of the season. The Cubs’ first hit cut Arizona’s lead to 3-1. But the D’Backs would get the run right back in the fifth.
Stephen Drew reached on a two-out single and scored on a double off the ivy in left by Justin Upton. Wells struck out Mark Reynolds to end the inning.
Alfonso Soriano doubled to right center with one out in the bottom of the fifth. Mike Fontenot followed with a double to right center. Soriano scored … 4-2 Arizona.
The Cubs took the lead for good in the sixth. After Ryan Theriot and Kosuke Fukudome reached on back-to-back singles, Derrek Lee was robbed of a hit by Justin Upton in right. Aramis Ramirez hit a routine infield pop up that Rodrigo Lopez interfered with and possibly cost him a win.
Tyler Colvin drove in the Cubs’ third run with a sacrifice fly to center … then Soriano ripped Lopez’s first pitch into the bleachers in left center. 6-4 Cubs.
The Cubs made the D’Backs pay for the error.
After Chris Snyder cut the Cubs lead to 6-5 in the top of the seventh, the Cubs went back to work in the home half … and showed a lot of patience.
Geovany Soto walked to start the inning against new Diamondbacks pitcher Blaine Boyer. Marlon Byrd hit for John Grabow and singled. Ryan Theriot sacrificed both runners up 90′. Kosuke Fukudome walked to load the bases with one out.
Derrek Lee reached on an infield single to the hole at short. Stephen Drew kept the ball in the infield but Soto scored the Cubs’ seventh run.
Aramis Ramirez walked with the bases loaded. Byrd scored … 8-5 Cubs.
Aaron Heilman replaced Boyer and struck out Tyler Colvin for the second out. Alfonso Soriano, who continues to improve on a daily basis, walked on five pitches from his former teammate. Fukudome scored … 9-5 Cubs.
Geovany Soto hit a wind blown homer in the eighth, his third of the season (and first off of a pitcher other than Dave Bush). Marlon Byrd launched a 1-1 pitch from Kevin Mulvey onto Waveland … 11-5 Cubs.
Carlos Silva will face Dan Haren on Saturday at 12:05pm CDT.