Game Fifteen – Cubs 9 Mets 3
WP – Carlos Silva (2-0) LP – Oliver Perez (0-2) Save – None
Carlos Silva ended the Cubs four-game losing streak in impressive fashion once again. Silva allowed only one run on two hits in six innings with a pair of walks, a hit batsman and four strikeouts. Silva recorded his third quality start of the year … the first time in his career he has begun a season with three quality outings.
Alfonso Soriano, Geovany Soto, Ryan Theriot and Marlon Byrd had a big night at the dish. Alfonso Soriano finished the game 3-for-4 with a walk, a triple, a two-run homer and three RBI. Soriano went to the plate in the top of the eighth with a chance at a cycle but flied out to Jeff Francoeur in right center.
Geovany Soto and Ryan Theriot each reached base five times on Wednesday night. Geovany Soto drove in Alfonso Soriano in the fourth with a long single to left that broke a 1-1 tie … and ended up being the game winner. Soto recorded a pair of singles and walked three times. Theriot drove in a run, scored two, reached on an error and tallied three hits out of the leadoff spot.
Marlon Byrd hit cleanup for the first time for the Cubs … and continued to drive in runs with two outs. Byrd tied the game at one with a sacrifice fly in the third and drove in two more with a two-out bloop single in the ninth. Byrd finished the game 2-for-4 with two runs scored, three RBI and a walk.
The Cubs scored nine runs on 14 hits with nine walks but left 14 on base and were 4-for-15 with RISP.
With the win, the Cubs improved to 6-9 on the season … On a day the Cubs announced Carlos Zambrano would be moved to the bullpen on Friday, the Cubs responded with a solid win against the New York Mets. The Cubs still have work to do and one breakout game does not mean all is right on the North Side. Lou Piniella’s crew must use Wednesday night as a starting point, not a once a week wonder.
After a rough start, Carlos Silva settled down and put together his third quality start of the season. Silva walked Jason Bay with two-outs in the first inning … Silva’s first free pass of the year. Silva seemed to be struggling with his command in the first three innings and left several balls up in the zone. After Rod Barajas’ monster shot in the second (Barajas’ third homer of the year ended up in the second deck of Citi Field, the no-doubter traveled about 425′), Silva settled down and retired 13 of the next 14 batters he faced.
Jason Bay recorded the Mets’ second hit off of Silva with two outs in the sixth. Piniella lifted Silva after six innings and 87 pitches, 58 for strikes.
Sean Marshall took over in the seventh and gave up a leadoff single to Ike Davis … but that was all. Jose Reyes led off the eighth with a single to right and scored on a triple to right by Luis Castillo. With the Cubs up 6-2, David Wright drove in Castillo with a single to center. Piniella went to his pen up 6-3 with one on and no outs in the eighth inning.
Justin Berg did his job and retired the two batters he faced … and John Grabow struck out Ike Davis, a lefty, to end the inning.
After a slow start against Oliver Perez, the Cubs scored in four of the nine innings.
Ryan Theriot reached on an error by David Wright to start the third. Jeff Baker singled to center. Wright then took a hit away from Derrek Lee on a ball in the hole. Baker was forced at second for the first out of the inning.
Marlon Byrd hit a sacrifice fly to left center that plated Theriot and tied the game at one. Derrek Lee tagged and advanced to second but Aramis Ramirez struck out to end the inning.
Alfonso Soriano led off the fourth with his first triple since August 19, 2009 (his only three-base hit last season). Soriano hustled out of the box and slid head first into third. With the infield in, Geovany Soto ripped a long single off the wall in left. Jason Bay made a good play on the ball, played it like the Green Monster, and threw out Soto at second. Soriano scored on the play and gave the Cubs a 2-1 lead.
Carlos Silva walked with two outs in the fourth, his first free pass since 2002. Theriot singled to right but Baker flied out to right center to end the inning.
Marlon Byrd doubled to right with one out in the fifth. After Ramirez popped out to right, Soriano delivered a single to right on a 3-1 pitch. Soriano’s two-out RBI padded the Cubs lead to 3-1. Geovany Soto walked but Tyler Colvin blooped out to Jose Reyes in shallow left to end the inning.
Oliver Perez left after five innings and three runs, two earned, on eight hits with three walks and four strikeouts.
The Cubs scored three in the seventh off of Manny Acosta and Raul Valdes … two on one swing of the bat.
Marlon Byrd walked to start the inning and scored on Alfonso Soriano’s second homer of the year … a line drive shot over the wall in left.
Soto walked and chased Acosta from the game. Tyler Colvin doubled to right off the southpaw Valdes. The ground rule double to right put runners on second and third with one out. Xavier Nady hit for Silva and walked to load the bases. Ryan Theriot singled to left and plated Soto with the Cubs sixth run.
Jeff Baker grounded into a 1-2 fielder’s choice and Derrek Lee struck out looking to end the inning.
After the Mets cut the Cubs’ lead to 6-3 in the eighth, the Cubs went back to work against Hisanori Takahashi in the ninth.
Geovany Soto walked and advanced to second on a beautiful bunt single by Tyler Colvin. Koyie Hill pinch-hit for John Grabow and sacrificed the runners to second and third. Ryan Theriot walked to load the bases with one out.
Jeff Baker grounded into a 5-2 fielder’s choice that forced Soto at the plate. Derrek Lee then walked on four pitches. Colvin scored … 7-3 Cubs.
Marlon Byrd then blooped a 2-2 pitch into right that drove in Theriot and Baker … 9-3 Cubs.
Tom Gorzelanny will face Johan Santana in the series finale on Thursday night.