CHICAGO (AP) -- Aramis Ramirez missed 11 games earlier this month
with a sore groin and is still running the bases at less than full
That's OK, though, when all he needs is his home run trot.
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Aramis Ramirez has failed to pick up the offensive slack for the Cubs with Derrek Lee out of the lineup.
"Sometimes you don't have to run to play the game," Ramirez
said Friday after hitting three homers to lead the Chicago Cubs to
a 10-7 comeback win over the slumping Philadelphia Phillies."I'm not 100 percent, but I can play and I proved today I can.
It's a good feeling. You see the ball well and you know you can do
everything at the plate."City officials gave the go-ahead to play the game after the Cubs
installed safety nets to ensure fans would not be hit by any
crumbling debris that has fallen three times this season at
90-year-old Wrigley Field.The only things flying around and out of the old ballpark were
homers on a day when a relatively calm wind was hardly a factor.Ramirez had the second three-homer game of his career, missing a
chance for a fourth when he was left in the on-deck circle in the
eighth.The Phillies' Bobby Abreu and Pat Burrell homered twice each off
Mark Prior and Derrek Lee also went deep for Chicago."We scored seven runs. We think that can hold the game, but
things happen," Abreu said.The Cubs trailed 6-3 when Ramirez led off the sixth with his
second homer off Eric Milton, who pitched eight innings of no-hit
ball five days ago against the Cubs.The homer ignited the Cubs' rally and six of the next seven
batters singled during a five-run inning."A couple of hits here or there and the next thing you know
it's a tie game and then things just kind of unfolded," Burrell
said. "What else can you do but get ready and come back tomorrow?
Guys are frustrated."Ramirez hit solo homers off Milton in the second and sixth
innings and another bases-empty shot off Roberto Hernandez in the
seventh.While with the Pirates, he had three against Houston on April 8,
2001."I feel pretty good right now and just need to keep working and
keep doing it and hit a career high in home runs this season,"
said Ramirez, who now has 21. He hit 34 for the Pirates three years
ago.Milton gave up eight hits and six runs in 5 1/3 innings,
including three homers, as the Phillies lost their fifth straight.Abreu, who had five RBI, hit his second of the game and 22nd of
the season, a three-run shot in the fifth that made it 6-3.Prior, still looking for his first win since June 25, had words
for home plate umpire Paul Schrieber on his way to the dugout after
being replaced. Prior went 4 1/3 innings, giving up eight hits and
six runs.He said his performance wasn't related to a sore elbow that cost
him a start earlier this month."I got nothing wrong physically," he said. "It wasn't I guess
a great day to pitch. I don't know what else to say. I didn't pitch
well and that's pretty obvious."After Ramirez led off the sixth with his second homer, singles
by Michael Barrett and Alex Gonzalez drove out Milton.Rheal Cormier (4-5) relieved and when pinch-hitter Jose Macias
grounded to third, Barrett beat David Bell's throw home to cut the
lead to 6-5.When Mark Grudzielanek's shallow fly fell over second baseman
Placido Polanco's reach for a single, it got by Abreu in right and
Gonzalez scored to tie the game. The runners moved up on Abreu's
overthrow and Patterson hit a go-ahead RBI single.Grudzielanek was tagged out at the plate on a strong throw from
center fielder Ricky Ledee, but Patterson moved up on the play and
scored easily when Sammy Sosa singled to right.After Ramirez's third homer made it 9-6, Hernandez made a
throwing error and then his wild pitch sent another run home. Abreu
had an RBI single in the eighth.Jon Leicester (3-0) worked 1 2-3 innings of scoreless relief.LaTroy Hawkins worked the ninth for his 15th save in 19 chances.
The Phils put LHP Billy Wagner on the 15-day disabled list
with a strained left rotator cuff. ... It was the ninth career
multihomer game for Ramirez, Abreu and Burrell.