SO-RI-A-NO – Cubs 8, Diamondbacks 1

Game Eighty-Six – Cubs 8, Diamondbacks 1
WP – Paul Maholm (7-6) LP – Ian Kennedy (6-8) Save – None

wflag.jpgAfter rain delayed the start of Friday’s game three hours and 40 minutes, the Cubs started the second half the same way they ended the first half, with a win. Dale Sveum’s team beat the Diamondbacks for the first time this season behind a solid start from Paul Maholm and a huge game from Alfonso Soriano.

Alfonso Soriano was a one-man wrecking crew. Soriano was 4-for-4 with two home runs, two doubles, three runs scored and five RBI. Soriano began play Friday one short of 800 extra basehits for his career and ended the day with 803. Soriano notched the 30th multi-home run game of his career, second of the season, and tied a career mark with five RBI in a single game.

With his two home runs on Friday (16 and 17 on the season), Alfonso Soriano passed Mark Grace for 13th on the Cubs’ All-Time home run list with 149.

Alfonso Soriano doubled and scored the tying run on a wild pitch in the second. Soriano launched his 16th homer of the year, a solo shot that ended up on Waveland in the fourth that gave the Cubs a 2-1 lead. Soriano then hit a three-run shot in the fifth that gave Paul Maholm a little breathing room. Soriano added a RBI double in the seventh to complete his day.

Anthony Rizzo (2-for-4 with two runs scored) added a pair of hits and scored two of the Cubs’ eight runs. Geovany Soto (1-for-3 with a double and hit by a pitch) doubled and scored a run in his four trips to the plate. Darwin Barney was 2-for-4 and Starlin Castro (1-for-5 with a run scored) notched a single and scored on Soriano’s ground rule double in the seventh.

Paul Maholm picked up his third straight win with a solid seven-inning effort. Maholm was shaky early and gave up a run in the first. The Cubs turned two double plays (Cubs have turned a double play in eight straight games, longest stretch since 2008) in the first two innings and Maholm settled down after the third inning. Paul Maholm beat Arizona for the first time in his career after allowing one run on six hits with a walk and five strikeouts in seven innings. Maholm threw 101 pitches, 65 for strikes, and helped his own cause in the sixth inning. Maholm bunted in Geovany Soto with the Cubs’ sixth run of the game.

Manny Corpas and Shawn Camp pitched two scoreless frames to close out the victory. Paul Maholm improved to 7-6 on the season and took over the team lead in wins.

With Friday’s victory, the Cubs improved to 20-20 at Wrigley and 34-52 on the season …

After one of the longest delays in the history of Wrigley Field (three hours and 40 minutes), Arizona jumped on Paul Maholm and took an early lead. Willie Bloomquist worked the count to 3-2 before ripping a double to left center. Aaron Hill followed and reached on a perfectly placed bunt up the third baseline. With runners on first and third with no outs, Justin Upton stepped in.

Paul Maholm fell behind Upton 2-0 then the D-Backs’ right fielder pulled Maholm’s next pitch toward short. Starlin Castro started a 6-4-3 double play as Bloomquist scored the first run of the game. Maholm struck out Jason Kubel swinging to end the inning. Maholm survived the first inning, thanks to the double play, and threw just 15 pitches, nine for strikes, in the opening frame.

The Cubs did nothing in the first inning … 1-2-3 for Ian Kennedy on 12 pitches, seven for strikes.

Paul Maholm ended up facing the minimum in the second after giving up a leadoff single to Paul Goldschmidt (1-2 pitch). Miguel Montero rapped into a 4-6-3 double play and Chris Young flied out to left (1-0 pitch) to end the inning. Maholm tossed 23 pitches in the first two innings, 14 for strikes.

Alfonso Soriano led off the second with the 800th extra basehit of his career, a hustle double to left. Soriano blooped a 1-2 pitch down the left field line and ended up at second to start the inning. Bryan LaHair flied out to left (1-2 pitch) for the first out. Geovany Soto launched a deep fly to center. Soriano tagged and advanced to third with two down.

Darwin Barney stepped in with the tying run on third. A 0-1 pitch to Barney got past Miguel Montero, Soriano scampered in and scored … game tied at one. Barney ended up with a single to right center. Barney then got a running lead and swiped second base on the first pitch to Valbuena. Luis Valbuena ended up walking but with two on and two down, Maholm grounded out to first to end the inning.

After two, the game was tied at one.

Paul Maholm ended up dodging another bullet in the third. Stephen Drew led off with a double to right. Ian Kennedy failed to get a bunt down. Kennedy swung away at a 2-1 pitch then fouled off a bunt attempt on 2-2 offering for the first out. Willie Bloomquist flied out to deep left center (3-2 pitch) for the second out and Aaron Hill grounded out to short to end the inning … 44 pitches for Maholm after three, 27 for strikes.

The Cubs did nothing in the third … and the game went to the fourth tied at one.

Paul Maholm set down the D-Backs in order for the first time in the fourth. Maholm threw 55 pitches in four innings, 36 for strikes.

Alfonso Soriano crushed Ian Kennedy’s first pitch in the fourth inning. Soriano’s 16th home run of the season ended up on Waveland and the Cubs took a 2-1 lead. Bryan LaHair popped out to third before Geovany Soto doubled to left. Ian Kennedy settled down and struck out Darwin Barney and Luis Valbuena to end the inning.

After four, the Cubs led 2-1.

As the rain picked back up, Paul Maholm struck out Miguel Montero and Chris Young to start the fifth. Maholm needed one more out to make it an official game. Stephen Drew singled to right (2-1 pitch) and flipped the order. But Maholm could not throw strikes to Ian Kennedy. Maholm jumped ahead of Kennedy 0-2 before walking him … third time in four at bats this season that Maholm walked Ian Kennedy.

With runners on first and second and two down, Willie Bloomquist grounded out to Valbuena to end the inning. Maholm threw 81 pitches in five innings, 51 for strikes.

Paul Maholm struck out looking to start the fifth, the third strikeout in a row for Ian Kennedy. David DeJesus worked a walk, the Cubs second free pass of the game. Starlin Castro flied out to center for the second out. Anthony Rizzo kept the inning going with a single to right center (1-1 pitch). DeJesus advanced to third with two down.

Alfonso Soriano stepped in and lifted Ian Kennedy’s first pitch to deep center. The ball ended up sailing into the bleachers in centerfield and the Cubs took a 5-1 lead on Soriano’s second homer of the game. LaHair flied out to center to end the fifth.

After five, the Cubs led 5-1.

Paul Maholm made quick work of Aaron Hill and Justin Upton to start the sixth. Jason Kubel reached on a two out single to center. Paul Goldschmidt launched a 2-2 pitch to deep left center that DeJesus was able to track down at the base of the ivy to end the inning.

Ian Kennedy plunked Geovany Soto with a 2-2 pitch to start the sixth. Darwin Barney followed with a single to right center. Justin Upton slipped on the wet grass and Soto ended up at third with no outs. Kirk Gibson decided he’d seen enough and went to his pen for lefty Mike Zagurski.

Luis Valbuena struck out swinging (3-2 pitch) for the first out. Paul Maholm then pushed a bunt up the first baseline. Maholm did an excellent job of pushing the ball past the mound. Goldschmidt fielded the ball and threw to the plate. Soto slid in just ahead of Montero’s tag … and the Cubs took a 6-1 lead. David DeJesus grounded into a 6-4-3 inning ending double play.

After six, the Cubs led 6-1.

Paul Maholm set down Arizona in order in the seventh.

Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo greeted Brad Zeigler with back-to-back singles to start the seventh. Castro singled to center on Zeigler’s first pitch and Rizzo went to the opposite field with a single to left on a 1-0 offering.

Alfonso Soriano pulled a 0-1 pitch down the left field line. Castro scored easily and Rizzo held at third on Soriano’s ground rule double. Bryan LaHair tapped a 1-0 pitch up the first baseline. Goldschmidt tried to scoop and tag LaHair as he ran by … the ball ended up in foul ground. Rizzo scored, Soriano ended up at third and LaHair reached on the error.

With the infield in and no outs, Geovany Soto grounded out to third. Soriano got back to the bag before Bloomquist could tag him. Bloomquist had to settle for one as LaHair advanced to second on the play. With runners on second and third with one out, Darwin Barney popped out to Hill in shallow right then Valbuena grounded out to third to end the inning.

After seven, the Cubs led 8-1.

Manny Corpas retired the D-Backs in order in the eighth.

The Cubs did nothing against Patrick Corbin in the eighth.

Shawn Camp took over in the ninth with the Cubs up by seven. Camp retired three of the four batters he faced to close it out for Paul Maholm.

The Cubs began the second half with a nice win at home.

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

Ryan Dempster is scheduled to face Joe Saunders in game two on Saturday afternoon.

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Quote of the Day

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  • AGUSTIN REXACH RODRIGUEZ

    Thanks for the recap Neil!

    Question…Should we want to win? I mean which is worse: To end up dead last or to end up 3rd???

    Logic says last, rebuild says dead last…yet its hard to root for that.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      You’re welcome and good to hear from you … you know me by now.

      • Agustinrexach

        Ok, let the best second half ever to played by a team begin!

        • Agustinrexach

          *be

        • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

          Well played …