Soriano Homers, Cubs Win 5-3

PHOENIX (AP) — Darwin Barney singled up the middle to score Geovany Soto in the top of the ninth inning and the Chicago Cubs beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 5-3 on Saturday night.

Alfonso Soriano hit his 10th home run, tying him with Ryan Braun for the National League lead, and Matt Garza threw eight solid innings for the Cubs, who have won two straight after being routed 11-2 by the Diamondbacks on Thursday.

Garza (1-3) scatted three runs on six hits with 10 strikeouts and two walks over a season-best eight innings for his first win with the Cubs. Carlos Marmol pitched a hitless ninth for his seventh save.

J.J. Putz (0-1) gave up two runs and three hits in the ninth for the Diamondbacks.

Soto started the Cubs’ ninth-inning rally on a close play. With Marlon Byrd on first, Soto bunted back to Putz, who threw wildly to second. Stephen Drew dived to his right to catch Putz’s errant throw, barely keeping a toe on the bag to force Byrd.

Cubs manager Mike Quade argued the call with second-base umpire Dan Bellino and was ejected for the first time in his career.

After Tyler Colvin walked, Kosuke Fukudome grounded back to the mound. Putz threw to Drew for the second out of the inning but the shortstop double-clutched the throw to first and Fukudome was safe while Soto advanced to third.

Barney followed with a sharp single off the mound to give Chicago a 4-3 lead. Starlin Castro then singled to make it a two-run game.

Gerardo Parra tied the score in the sixth off Garza, hitting a wind-aided triple off the left-field wall just beyond the outstretched glove of Soriano that allowed to Chris Young to score standing up.

Justin Upton gave the Diamondbacks a 1-0 lead in the first, doubling to left and scoring on Drew’s line single up the middle. Soriano’s second-inning home run, his third in two games, bounced off the bottom of the mammoth scoreboard over the center-field batters’ eye and tied the game at 1-1.

Soriano added a two-out RBI single in the fourth following Castro’s leadoff double, and Aramis Ramirez doubled home Barney in the fifth to put the Cubs ahead 3-1.

Despite hitting .258 in the season’s first month, Soriano has 20 RBIs.

Diamondbacks starter Ian Kennedy allowed three runs on six hits over 7 2-3 innings with a walk and six strikeouts.

Cubs 1B Jeff Baker left the game in the top of the eighth with left shoulder soreness after jogging into second on a two-base error. … Soriano extended his own Cubs’ single-season record for home runs in April. … Cubs 1B Carlos Pena was held out of the starting lineup for the second straight game. Pena is hitting .159 with no home runs and only five RBIs in 22 games. He entered the game after Baker’s injury. … The Diamondbacks sent C John Hester to Baltimore earlier Saturday to complete the December trade that sent 3B Mark Reynolds to the Orioles for RHP David Hernandez and RHP Kam Mickolio. Hester was batting .263 with a home run and five RBIs in 10 games for Triple-A Reno.

Copyright 2010 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. STATS LLC and The Associated Press contributed to this article. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

  • Murphs Upper-Lip

    Good win. Soriano with 10 April homers, despite not going off on one of his “hot streaks?” Huh. He claims to be in the best shape since coming to Chicago; if true, this could be quite a season for him. Maybe it’s time to move him into the middle of the lineup, at least until he cools off a bit or someone, ANYONE else proves to be a middle of the lineup hitter… This really doesn’t sound too awful to me.

    1. Starlin 2B
    2. Barney SS
    3. Ramirez 3B
    4. Soriano LF
    5. Pena 1B
    6. Soto C
    7. Byrd CF
    8. Fukodome RF

    Not a mistake with the positioning, Barney is rated as the Cubs top SS, and here’s hoping his bat is for real; if so, why wouldn’t he be playing short??? I’m not saying Castro can’t be a fine/very good SS, but if Barney is rated so highly, why NOT put Starlin at 2B? Worked out pretty good for Ryno, I’d say.

    If you want to argue with Pena at five, don’t… I already give up. Hindsight is 20/20, but wouldn’t it be so much better for the Cubs future if those at bats were going to Colvin, and then they’d know exactly what they have with Tyler? But, since they have doled out $10 million for said Carlos, let’s give him some more time to hit a frickin homer! Unless there is some injury that is not being discussed; then, sit him down, he can’t hit!

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