• Summary: Alfonso Soriano hit his first homer of the year, Jacque Jones doubled and added an insurance run as the Cubs rallied Tuesday night and nailed down the win Wednesday.
• Hero: Soriano went 3-for-5 with 2 RBIs and 2 runs scored to lead Chicago to the win.
• Quotable: "I thought I'd better help him out." -- Cubs starter Ted Lilly on telling Lou Piniella his zipper was down when he came out to the mound
-- ESPN.com news services
Cubs 8, Pirates 6
PITTSBURGH (AP) -- The Chicago Cubs pulled off one of their best
comeback victories of the season, even if they had to wait nearly
16 hours to celebrate it.
Alfonso Soriano hit his first homer for the Cubs and Cliff Floyd
had a go-ahead, two-run shot during a four-run rally in the seventh
inning on Tuesday night, and Chicago completed the suspended-game
victory by finishing off the Pittsburgh Pirates 8-6 on Wednesday.
After a delay of 2 hours, 18 minutes, the game was suspended
Tuesday with the Pirates about to bat in the seventh. After the
game resumed, relievers Bob Howry, Will Ohman and Ryan Dempster
gave up one run in three relief innings and Jacque Jones doubled
and scored an insurance run with some heads-up baserunning in the
eighth. Rocky Cherry (1-1) got two outs in the sixth for the win.
As Matt Murton beat the throw on a two-out single to third
baseman Jose Bautista, Jones kept running and scored before first
baseman Adam LaRoche realized Jones had not stopped at third.
Derrek Lee had four hits, including two doubles and a
run-scoring single in the ninth off John Wasdin. Dempster got the
final four outs for his fifth save in as many opportunities despite
allowing Chris Duffy's RBI double in the ninth.
Earlier -- in this case, more than half a day earlier -- Jones,
Soriano and Floyd all homered as the Cubs won their fourth in fifth
games. The Pirates dropped their third in four games.
While the game lasted longer than the required five innings to
be official, it was suspended because the Pirates had not yet
batted in the seventh. Baseball's suspension rules were changed
during the offseason to pick up play at the point where a game was
stopped, rather than going back to the last completed inning -- in
this case, the sixth, with the Pirates up 5-2.
Soriano, who signed a $136 million contract with Chicago as a
free agent in the offseason, was coming off what he called the
worst month of his career. But he needed only one at-bat in May to
equal his RBI total in April -- one -- when he homered over the
center-field wall on Tony Armas' third pitch.
Soriano and Murton each doubled in the seventh to drive in a run
ahead of Floyd's 451-foot drive that bounced into the Allegheny
River behind the right-field seats for his second homer of the
season. The homer was more impressive because Floyd took his at-bat
with a steady rain falling.
The Cubs withstood a rough outing from Ted Lilly, who gave up
three runs in the first while allowing only one ball out of the
infield. Lilly also wound up on his backside twice while fielding
Tony Armas began the game with an 11.57 ERA to Lilly's 2.18, but
limited the Cubs to two runs in six innings, solo homers by
Soriano on his third pitch of the game and Jones in the second.
Armas left with a 5-2 lead, but the usually reliable Pirates
bullpen couldn't hold it in the seventh.
Murton had a pinch-hit double off John Grabow, and Soriano
doubled off loser Jonah Bayliss (2-2), who gave up extra-base hits
to three consecutive batters. Bayliss did not allow any of his 10
inherited runners to score in April.
Ronny Paulino singled and scored on Jack Wilson's sacrifice fly
in the Pirates' second and hit a solo homer in the fourth.
Notes: The Pirates hadn't had a game suspended since June 16,
1986, in St. Louis. The Cubs' last suspended game was April 5,
1997. ... Lee, 12-for-32 with four homers against Armas, doubled
and singled against the right-hander. Lee is one of only seven
players in the last 50 years to double in seven consecutive games.
... Floyd's homer was the 21st, by 16 players, to reach the
Allegheny River since PNC Park opened in 2001. All but one homer
bounced into the river. ... Lee has a 10-game hitting streak