CHICAGO (AP) -- Carlos Zambrano switched to longer sleeves after three innings, not so much to combat the cold -- as would be expected -- but to cover a scab on his pitching arm.
Big Z was plenty ready for the elements on a 41-degree night in mid-May and showed his sense of humor Monday night after pitching and batting the Chicago Cubs to a 12-3 win over the San Diego Padres."It's OK for me. I'm from Alaska," Zambrano said, drawing laughs at his postgame news conference."No, it's tough man, especially for me. I'm from South America, Venezuela. It is not this cold. Not even close," he said."As a starting pitcher ... don't worry about the cold factor, just try to hit your spots and try to do the best you can to keep the inning quick."But the Cubs made sure the Padres couldn't get off the field soon enough, scoring six runs in the fifth -- started by Zambrano's double -- and adding five more in the sixth, when he added a single. They had 13 hits and made the most of nine walks issued by the Padres.Pitching with an extra day's rest after his start Sunday was scratched because of rainy conditions, Zambrano (6-1) allowed six hits and three runs in seven innings. And he was part of a batting order that was on base all night."I think we have a very good lineup, very balanced," said Alfonso Soriano, who homered in the fifth and is 7-for-14 during the Cubs' four-game winning streak. "Be more aggressive and, at the same time, selective at home plate. That's what I try to do because I know when I swing at a strike, I know that I hit the ball very hard."The Cubs' first eight batters reached in the fifth on six hits and two walks. Randy Wolf (2-3) didn't retire a batter in the inning and in four-plus innings, he gave up eight hits, seven runs and five walks."In the fifth inning, there is really no way to candy coat it," Wolf said. "I was bad. I didn't make the pitches I needed to. They capitalized on it. You get behind and you don't locate. Those are two recipes for something bad to happen."Jody Gerut's first homer in nearly three years gave the Padres a 2-1 lead in the top of the fifth, but the Cubs quickly responded.Zambrano drove a ball off the wall in right-center for a leadoff double and Soriano followed with a drive to left-center that just cleared the fence for his fourth homer, putting Chicago up 3-2.Ryan Theriot walked, Derrek Lee singled and Aramis Ramirez had an RBI single before Kosuke Fukudome worked a walk to load the bases. Geovany Soto's two-run single through the middle made it 6-2 and finished Wolf. Mark DeRosa then greeted reliever Sean Henn with an RBI single."He couldn't make a pitch to get himself out of it," Padres manager Bud Black said of Wolf.In the sixth, the Cubs batted around again. They loaded the bases for the third time in the game on Soriano's double and walks to Theriot and Ramirez before Fukudome drew his third walk of the game to force in a run.It got worse for the Padres, who have the worst record in the majors at 14-25.When DeRosa hit a grounder to third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff, he tried to race to the bag for a force, but Ramirez beat him there. Kouzmanoff then threw wildly to first for an error and three runs ended up scoring on the play as the Cubs went up 11-2. Reed Johnson later added an RBI single.Fukudome's three walks were a big part of the Cubs' offense."The guy knows how to play baseball," Zambrano said. "He came to the U.S. ready to play. One thing I see in Fukudome is he can handle it with all the media and all the fans."Lee's double into the right-field corner scored Theriot, who singled, in the first to put the Cubs ahead 1-0. Tadahito Iguchi hit an RBI single in the third to tie it.
Zambrano has 17 multihit games in his career. ... Gerut's last homer came on May 24, 2005, against the Twins while he was playing for the Indians. He wasn't in the majors the last two years. ... Padres C Michael Barrett, bothered by a sprained right elbow ligament, threw before the game and could go on a rehab assignment soon. ... Padres LF Scott Hairston fell over the Cubs' bullpen mound chasing Fukudome's foul fly in the sixth, but wasn't hurt. ... Edgar Gonzalez, just called up from Triple-A, had an RBI single in the seventh for his first major league hit. He is the brother of Padres' first baseman Adrian Gonzalez. ... Former Cubs pitcher Mark Prior, now with the Padres, had a setback in his rehab from shoulder surgery in April 2007. When he felt discomfort in his shoulder at extended spring training in Arizona, he was sent back to San Diego for an MRI, Black said. Prior might visit Dr. James Andrews, who performed the surgery, to be checked out.