The Diamondbacks led off Randy Wells with a home run off the bat of Willie Bloomquist to take an early 1-0 lead Monday, but that was all they would touch Cubs pitching for. Alfonso Soriano tied the game with his second home run in as many days, and of the season, leading off the 3rd inning. The Cubs loaded the bases in the 4th inning, and scored the go-ahead run on a Carlos Pena sacrifice fly. Carlos Pena made a nice defensive play to make the first out of the 7th inning with a putout to Sean Marshall. Kerry Wood got into a jam in the 8th after a Starlin Castro error, a single, and an intentional walk to load the bases, but managed to escape the inning unharmed, much like he did yesterday. In the 8th, Geovany Soto doubled off the left field wall to score Aramis Ramirez. Later in the inning, Soriano singled to score Soto and give the Cubs a 4-1 lead. Carlos Marmol came in to pitch the 9th inning after a loss and a blown save Sunday, and earned his 2nd save of the season as the Cubs won 4-1.
Ronny Cedeno’s single gave Pittsburgh an early lead in the 2nd, and Pedro Alvarez did the same in the 3rd, but the Cubs came back to tie it on a Carlos Pena near-grand slam double in the 4th. Lyle Overbay gave the Pirates the lead with a single in the 5th. But after a Starlin Castro triple, Darwin Barney knocked him in with a sacrifice fly to make it 3-3 in the bottom of the inning. To lead off the 6th inning, Alfonso Soriano hit a home run to give the Cubs a 4-3 lead, with the first home run of the Cubs season. But in the 9th, Carlos Marmol’s wildness gave the Pirates an opportunity to tie or take the lead. In the 9th, a ground ball to Starlin Castro let the Pirates tie it, but Castro’s aggression compelled him to attempt to get the runner out at 1st, despite the lack of any significant chance to make the out and allowed the aware Neil Walker to round 3rd and score and give the Pirates a 5-4 lead. Castro sought redemption in the bottom of the inning when he nailed a single to left center field, and Darwin Barney reached on a misplay by Ronny Cedeno before Marlon Byrd grounded into a double play, as the Cubs regressed to 1-2 and 3rd place in the National League Central Division.
The Cubs moved into a tie for 2nd, and potentially 1st by the end of action tonight, on Saturday with a comeback 5-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates at Wrigley Field. Pittsburgh opened up the scoring in the first with a Pedro Alvarez single into Right Field scoring Jose Tabata. Tabata would score again on a Neil Walker double in the 3rd before Garrett Jones hit a solo shot, chasing Carlos Zambrano, to make it a 3-0 ballgame in Pittsburgh’s favor.
Believe this is quite appropriate with Kerry Wood and Reed Johnson returning. So sit back, enjoy, and recollect the Cubs magical 2008 season, well the magical regular season anyway.