Final

Series: Game 1 of 4

Chi Cubs leads 1-0 (as of 5/29)

Game 1: Thursday, May 29
Colorado4Final
Chi Cubs8
Game 2: Friday, May 30
Colorado9Final
Chi Cubs10
Game 3: Saturday, May 31
Colorado4Final
Chi Cubs5
Game 4: Sunday, June 1
Colorado3Final
Chi Cubs5

Rockies 4

(20-34, 8-20 away)

Cubs 8

(33-21, 23-8 home)

    8:05 PM ET, May 29, 2008

    Wrigley Field, Chicago, Illinois 

    123456789 R H E
    COL 000102100 4 11 2
    CHC 10110023 - 8 11 2

    W: M. Wuertz (1-1)

    L: M. Herges (2-2)

    Soriano's single caps comeback as Cubs capitalize on Rockies' mistakes

    CHICAGO (AP) -- For one night at least, the Chicago Cubs are the best team in baseball. It's a title they might not give up without a fight.

    Alfonso Soriano's two-run single capped a late charge for the streaking Cubs, who won their fourth straight by beating the Colorado Rockies 8-4 Thursday night.

    At 33-21, the Cubs have the best record in the majors and one more win than Boston, Tampa Bay, the Los Angeles Angels and St. Louis.

    "We have a good team," Cubs first baseman Derrek Lee said. "We expect to win. We're just living up to our own expectations."

    In a sometimes sloppy game, the Cubs outlasted their visitors. Chicago scored five runs in the last two innings as Rockies pitchers committed two throwing errors that led to three unearned runs. Colorado lost its fourth straight and ninth in a row on the road.

    At 20-34, the Rockies are tied with Seattle for the worst record in baseball.

    "That's kind of been that little rock in our shoe," Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said of the team's shoddy defense.

    Soriano scored on Matt Herges' error to tie the game in the seventh and Geovany Soto's sacrifice fly scored Ryan Theriot to give the Cubs the lead. Pinch-hitter Micah Hoffpauir got his first career RBI in the eighth, hitting a broken-bat single up the middle to score Mark DeRosa, and Soriano followed with a hit up the middle to score two more.

    "It was a good come-from-behind win," Cubs manager Lou Piniella said. "They're playing with confidence. If we get down we have that feeling we can come from behind and win a baseball game. It's a good feeling."

    Carlos Marmol struck out two in the eighth and Kerry Wood struck out the side in the ninth.

    The Cubs trailed 4-3 going into the seventh. Soriano singled and moved to third on Theriot's single. Lee hit a dribbler toward third that was fielded by Herges, who hesitated before making a late, low throw to first that ended up in shallow right, allowing Soriano to score.

    "That's a play we work at day-in, day-out in spring training," Hurdle said.

    Herges (2-2) then hit Aramis Ramirez and Soto's flyout made it 5-4. It was the third time this season the rookie catcher has driven in the eventual winning run and second game in a row he's hit a big sacrifice fly. He's knocked in 37 runs, tied for second-best on the team.

    "I just wanted to have a quality at-bat there," Soto said. "Once I got to two strikes, I just wanted to drive the ball to the outfield. He gave me a good pitch to hit."

    Rockies reliever Taylor Buchholz made another throwing error in the eighth, allowing Reed Johnson to reach on a bunt. Johnson scored on Soriano's single.

    "We could have made some plays in the field that sure would have made things easier for us," Hurdle said.

    Ian Stewart, just recalled from the minors last week, was a homer away from the cycle for the Rockies. He ripped an RBI double to left off Michael Wuertz (1-1) in the seventh to give the Rockies their brief lead. Ryan Spilborghs led off the inning with a single and stole second before Stewart knocked him in.

    Rockies pinch-hitter Willy Taveras tied it in the sixth with a two-run single against Neal Cotts that glanced off Lee's outstretched glove at first.

    Colorado was 2-for-17 with runners in scoring position and left 11 men on base.

    "We know we haven't played the way we know we can," said Jeff Francis, who got a no-decision for Colorado. "That's disappointing to everyone in here."

    Cubs starter Jason Marquis was charged with three runs on seven hits in 5 1-3 innings, while Francis gave up three runs and six hits in five innings. The Cubs committed two errors and took advantage of even worse defense by the Rockies.

    "We didn't play great defense," Lee said. "Jason pitched a good game. He deserved better. But our offense picked us up. It doesn't matter how you get it done. Ugly wins, we'll take them."

    Ramirez's double scored Theriot in the first and Lee's 13th homer made it 2-0. Stewart led off the top of the fourth with a triple and scored on Torrealba's sacrifice fly to make it 2-1.

    The Cubs added another run in the fourth when Kosuke Fukudome doubled and scored on Reed Johnson's single.

    Game notes


    The Cubs have held a lead in 20 straight games. ... Cubs pinch-hitter Daryle Ward (bulging disc) is probably 10 days away from returning to the active roster, Piniella said. Ward said he should start taking batting practice in two days. ... Cotts, a star reliever for the 2005 White Sox, had been in the minors for more than a year, after the Cubs optioned him May 20, 2007. ... Chicago is 23-8 at home. ... Theriot reached base four times.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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