Soriano’s 11th Inning Home Run Gives Cubs the Win
Win: Carlos Villanueva (2-4) Loss: Oliver Perez: (2-2) Save: Blake Parker (1)
Home Runs: CHC: Alfonso Soriano (9), Starlin Castro (4) SEA: Justin Smoak (6)
3rd Star-Blake Parker: Called upon for his first save of his major league career, Parker shut down the Mariners in order, giving reason to believe he could be the team’s closer if/when Kevin Gregg is dealt. Dale Sveum said “He showed me something” when talking about Parker’s appearance.
2nd Star-Jeff Samardzija: The ace was excellent again, surrendering just two earned runs in seven innings, striking out five. He is likely going to be the Cubs lone representative in New York for the All Star Game.
1st Star-Alfonso Soriano: Playing his second straight game as the designated hitter, Soriano homered. He has gone deep in each of the two games of the series. This homer came in extras and gave the Cubs the lead. Soriano had two additional hits, including a double.
Game Notes: Ryan Sweeney exited the game after just one at bat with left rib soreness. He was replaced by Julio Borbon.
Kevin Gregg blew his first save of the season in the ninth.
Starlin Castro and Nate Schierholtz added two hits each, while Anthony Rizzo, Brian Bogusevic and Darwin Barney were the Cubs regulars who went hitless.
James Russell and Carlos Villanueva threw scoreless frames in addition to Parker.
3rd Star-Aaron Harang: The veteran is a player the Cubs have seen a ton, and today was a good outing for him, something that is becoming more of a rarity for him as his career reaches its twilight. He allowed three runs over eight innings, and didn’t walk anyone.
2nd Star-Endy Chavez: Another veteran, Chavez broke an 0-19 slump by tying the game in the bottom of the 9th off of Kevin Gregg. It was his only hit of the game, but it was a big one.
1st Star-Justin Smoak: For a top performer, Smoak did not have a great game, but he did homer off of Samardzija in the 2nd and also added a single.
Game Notes: Mike Zunino, Brendan Ryan and Raul Ibanez all doubled.
Dustin Ackley left in the top of the 9th with an injury on his left hand.
Charlie Furbush and Yoervis Medina threw a scoreless frame each out of the bullpen.
Kendys Morales, Raul Ibanez and Smoak all had two hits while Brad Miller and Kyle Seager went hitless. Miller has yet to collect a hit in two games since his call-up.
Additional Notes: Matt Garza, Scott Feldman and Kevin Gregg have come up the most in trade discussions.
The Cubs improved to 34-45 while the Mariners are now 35-46.
Rubber match tomorrow at 3:10, Edwin Jackson will oppose Jeremy Bonderman.