Game Seventy – Cubs 3 Rangers 7
WP – Kameron Loe (3-6) LP – Jason Marquis (5-4) Save – None
Sammy Sosa and the Chicago Cubs will be forever linked together and that bond was reinforced on Wednesday night in Arlington. Sammy Sosa hit his 600th career home run in the 5th inning to right field off of the Cubs current number 21, Jason Marquis. Marquis, on the other hand, could not find the strike zone and walked the first two batters he faced, four in all on the night while not receiving any help from his defense. The Cubs committed 3 errors, including the first of the season by Derrek Lee, and at one point the Rangers had more runs than hits.
Alfonso Soriano hit his 12th home run of the year in the 5th inning. Koyie Hill hit his 1st home run as a Cub and the 2nd of his career, a 2-run homer to straight away center in the 7th. After Mark DeRosa’s early exit, the Cubs struggled to string together hits and once again allowed a struggling pitcher to have a tremendous outing at their expense. Sammy Sosa did what he set out to do when he signed with the Rangers this past off-season, he hit his 600th home run. Sosa did not make it a secret either when it appeared he could do it against his former club, he wanted to hit his dinger off of the Cubs pitching staff. Sosa hit 545 homers as a member of the Cubs organization and became the 5th player in Major League history to reach the 600 home run plateau while reaching the mark in the second fewest at bats.
With the front office unloading Michael Barrett earlier on Wednesday, Piniella’s crew responded with a flat performance and one they seemed to be “just going through the motions.” Alfonso Soriano had a good day at the plate, Ryan Theriot made a fine play filling in for Mark DeRosa after he left the game in 2nd inning and Koyie Hill homered but to say the Cubs had an off night would be an understatement.
Kameron Loe pitched the way a sinker baller should….he kept the ball down and got results. He recorded 13 ground ball outs to just 2 fly ball outs and kept the Cubs offense guessing all night. The Cubs did hit two doubles but Loe did not allow either to score and the only runs he allowed were off of home runs by Soriano and Hill.
Jason Marquis had another bad outing. He appeared to have trouble with the mound and could not get into a rhythm. Marquis walked the lead off hitter in three different innings, four total free passes on the night, and they all came around to score. Of the first 4 runs the Rangers tallied, none of them scored with a hit for a RBI.
After walking Kenny Lofton and Ian Kinsler to start the game, Marquis gave up a single to Michael Young to load the bases. Sammy Sosa reached on an error by Mark DeRosa at 3rd with Lofton scoring on the play. Frank Catalanotto grounded into a 4-6-3 double play but Kinsler scored the second run of the inning before Marlon Byrd grounded out to short to end the inning.
Brad Wilkerson walked to lead off the 2nd and advance to 2nd on a hit and run ground out. Marquis retired Ramon Vazquez but Lofton reached on Derrek Lee’s error….the ball went right between his legs, Wilkerson scored. In the 4th, Wilkerson walked again to lead off the inning, went to 3rd on a double by Gerald Laird and scored on a ground ball to Lee at 1st….Lofton flied out to end the inning.
When Marquis took the mound in the 5th he decided to pitch from the stretch and did so with success. Ryan Theriot made a very good defensive play at 3rd to rob Kinsler of a hit and Marquis struck out Michael Young looking. But on a 1-2 pitch he gave up history to Sammy Sosa….Sosa’s 12th of the season landed in the right field bullpen. Catalanotto followed with a solo shot to right to put the game out of reach.
Scott Eyre retired all four batters he faced and put together another solid outing. Michael Wuertz gave up a run on 3 hits in the 7th and Will Ohman surrendered a hit in his only inning of relief.
Wednesday night belonged to Sammy Sosa but it would have been better to see Sammy hop while the Cubs were winning the ballgame.
The Cubs need a solid outing from Ted Lilly on getaway day Thursday and hopefully the Texas heat will have an effect on the Cubs offense with Vicente Padilla on the mound for the Rangers.