Final

Series: Game 1 of 3

Chi Cubs leads 1-0 (as of 4/15)

Game 1: Tuesday, April 15
Cincinnati5Final
Chi Cubs9
Game 2: Wednesday, April 16
Cincinnati3Final
Chi Cubs12
Game 3: Thursday, April 17
Cincinnati9Final
Chi Cubs2

Reds 5

(6-8, 2-5 away)

Cubs 9

(8-5, 4-3 home)

8:05 PM ET, April 15, 2008

Wrigley Field, Chicago, Illinois 

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CIN 012000101 5 6 0
CHC 02003022 - 9 14 0

W: R. Dempster (2-0)

L: A. Harang (1-2)

Longball lifts Cubs over Reds in Baker's return to Chicago; Soriano hurt 

CHICAGO (AP) -- One of Dusty Baker's first questions as he got ready to manage again at Wrigley Field was this: Which way is the wind blowing?

Climbing The Chart

Ken Griffey Jr., who is sixth on the all-time HR list, blasted career home run No. 595 on Tuesday. Next on the list? Sammy Sosa at 609.

MLB Career HR List
Player Total
Barry Bonds 762
Hank Aaron 755
Babe Ruth 714
Willie Mays 660
Sammy Sosa 609
Ken Griffey Jr. 595

After four years as manager of the Cubs, Baker knows how it can affect the game.

"The first thing you do when you get here, you check the wind," he said.

It was blowing out Tuesday, and the Chicago Cubs hit three homers to beat their former manager and his Cincinnati Reds 9-5 on a blustery night.

Baker got the Cubs within five outs of the World Series five years ago, but after a last-place finish in 2006, his contract was not renewed.

He got an earful from the crowd at Wrigley Field that booed him loudly when he changed pitchers in the seventh and eighth innings. It was something he expected.

"Sooner or later you're going to get booed. So, what the heck?" he said before the game.

The win might have come with a price for the Cubs. Leadoff hitter Alfonso Soriano never came to bat after hurting his right calf when he used his unique hop to catch Ken Griffey's first-inning fly ball.

It was initially called a strain, but Soriano was having an MRI on Tuesday night and manager Lou Piniella said he didn't know how long his star will be out.

"It'll probably be a while," Piniella said. "If he's out an extended period, it will hurt us."

Lee's fifth homer of the season -- and fifth of his career against the Reds' Aaron Harang -- was a long drive to left-center on a night with the wind blowing out at 19 mph and gusts up to 26 mph. Mark DeRosa and Ryan Theriot also connected for the Cubs.

"We talked about it today in batting practice. There were not too many balls left today when we got done," said DeRosa, who moved from second base to left field to replace Soriano. "All you had to do was get it up in the air."

Griffey hit his 595th homer, and Joey Votto added a solo shot in the ninth for the Reds, who lost their fourth straight.

"With the wind blowing out you try to minimize the damage as much as you can," winning pitcher Ryan Dempster said.

Harang (1-2) took his first career loss at Wrigley Field, where he was 4-0 in eight previous appearances. Harang gave up eight hits and five runs in six innings and fell to 8-4 lifetime against the Cubs.

"It was tough to get loose. It was one of those days where you go out there and you just don't have it," Harang said. "You get out there and it's cold, your nose gets running."

Closer-turned-starter Dempster (2-0) gave up five hits and four runs in six-plus innings. He left during the seventh when the Reds loaded the bases with no outs but scored only one run, thanks to stellar defensive plays by Fontenot at second and Lee at first.

The Reds grabbed a 1-0 lead in the second when Dempster walked Brandon Phillips and Adam Dunn before Edwin Encarnacion, batting only .179, lined an RBI single over DeRosa's head in left. DeRosa had moved to left from second when Fontenot replaced Soriano in the order.

The Cubs went ahead in the bottom half as Kosuke Fukudome singled and DeRosa homered to left.

Griffey's homer was a two-run shot to center off Dempster and it gave the Reds a 3-2 lead in the third. The Reds' star is sixth on the career list. No. 5 is Sammy Sosa with 609.

The Reds had a big inning brewing in the seventh after Paul Bako singled and pinch-hitter Scott Hatteberg walked to finish Dempster. Reliever Carlos Marmol fielded Corey Patterson's bunt and threw high and late to second, a fielder's choice that loaded the bases with no outs.

But Fontenot made a great diving stab behind second on Jeff Keppinger's grounder up the middle, flipping to shortstop Theriot covering for the forceout as a run scored. Lee then grabbed Griffey's hard grounder and started a 3-6-3 double play.

"D-Lee made a great play on that double play to stop the game from being tied," Baker said.

The Cubs made it 7-4 in the bottom half when Lee singled, Aramis Ramirez hit an RBI double and DeRosa a run-scoring single off reliever Jared Burton. Theriot hit a two-run shot, his first of the season, off Todd Coffey in the eighth.

Game notes


Griffey, Baker and Lee were among those who wore No. 42 to honor Jackie Robinson on the 61st anniversary of his major league debut. ... Patterson, once the Cubs' top prospect whose career with the team never met expectations, also got his share of boos.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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