Alfonso Soriano’s 2nd homerun in as many days kicked off the Cubs scoring in the 3rd inning, and an RBI single in the 8th capped it off as the Cubs top the D-Backs 4-1. Randy Wells continued on a growing trend by Cubs starting pitchers to give up runs early when he surrendered a lead-off home run to Willie Bloomquist. However Wells quickly settled in and gave the Cubs their best starting performance in this young season. Through 6 strong innings he gave up just 1 run on 6 hits and 4 walks while retiring 6 batters on strikes. The Cubs bullpen also came up big with 4 pitchers recording holds over the course of 2 innings, this includes Marshall, Mateo, and Grabow who all recorded 1 out in the 7th. Kerry Wood got through a bend but don’t break style 8th giving up a hit and a walk but no runs. Closing responsibilities were once again given to Carlos Marmol who was coming off of a meltdown loss to the Pirates. This time Marmol would not falter however and recorded his 2nd save of the year. The win brings the Cubs to 2-2 and a possible 3 way tie for 2nd in the Central if the Cardinals win. With a Cardinals loss the Cubs will be in sole possession of 3rd place. Tomorrow the Cubs send young fire-baller Andrew Cashner to the mound and will take on Barry Enright for game 2 of the series.
An up and down game for the Cubs ends in a thud as the Pirates walked out of Wrigley leaving an L above the scoreboard. The Cubs found themselves down 2 by the third inning but showed some life in the bottom of the fourth when Carlos Pena smashed a two run double off the wall in right tying the game. The Pirates threatened in the fifth but only scored one run which was matched by the Cubs in the bottom of the inning. The Cubs managed their first lead of the game in the bottom of the sixth when slugging left fielder Alfonso Soriano took his turn at the plate. Soriano, batting just .125 going into the game blasted a solo home run into the left center field bleachers. Solid pitching for both teams brought the game to the ninth with the Cubs still ahead by one. Then came the ninth inning. Carlos Marmol of the Cubs entered the game looking for his second save of the year. Marmol gave up 2 earned runs on 2 hits and one walk in the inning and recorded his first blown save and eventually loss as the Cubs offense was held to just a hit in the ninth. The loss for the Cubs shifts them to a tie for third place with the Cardinals at 1-2. Chicago moves on to face the Arizona Diamondbacks, Joe Saunders is scheduled to make his first start of the season for the D-Backs and Randy Wells will do the same for the Cubs. With the win the Pirates jump up to second place with a record of 2-1. They will send Charlie Morton to the mound to face Kyle Lohse and the St. Louis Cardinals.