Soriano's 5 hits lead Lou-less Cubs past Brewers


• Summary: Alfonso Soriano had five hits, including a big three-run homer and the Cubs won their second straight, knocking off NL Central leading Milwaukee.

• Turning point: Chicago trailed 2-1 in the seventh before erupting for five runs, capped by Soriano's homer.


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• Hero: The Cubs' $136 million man, Soriano is hitting .407 over his last 12 games.

• Unsung hero: Carlos Marmol got the win, helping the Cubs get out of a jam in the sixth before the seventh-inning rally.

• Quotable: "That's why we went out and signed him." -- bench coach Alan Trammell, who was subbing for suspended Lou Piniella, on Soriano

-- news services

Cubs 7, Brewers 2

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Alfonso Soriano, the Chicago Cubs' pricey offseason acquisition, is starting to pay off.

Soriano had five hits, including a three-run homer, to help the Cubs beat the Milwaukee Brewers 7-2 on Monday night.

"That's why we went out and signed him," said bench coach Alan Trammell, who managed the team for the suspended Lou Piniella. "This guy is an offensive threat in more ways than one. He can do it all. We really need him to get going because he can be a catalyst for this team."

The Cubs' $136 million outfielder has now homered in his last three games and is hitting .407 over his past 12 games. The last time he had five hits in a game was as a member of the New York Yankees on Sept. 17, 2002, a 9-7 loss to Tampa Bay.

"I know I got five hits, but the home run was the most important hit I got," he said. "We really pulled everything together tonight. Hopefully we will continue to play like we played tonight."

The win was the second in a row for the Cubs since Piniella was ejected on Saturday in Chicago, after a dirt-kicking tantrum against an umpire following a close play at third base. Piniella was suspended four games by Major League Baseball for the incident.

Carlos Marmol (1-0) got the win, retiring two batters in the sixth inning in relief of starter Jason Marquis.

"This is not me -- these are Lou's wins and our wins," Trammell said. "It is nice to see us having smiles around here finally. Hopefully we can keep this thing going."

Trammell said a key to the victory was the pitching of Marquis, who got out of bases-loaded jams in the first two innings without giving up any runs. Marquis lasted 5 1/3 innings, giving up two runs on seven hits.

"He kept us in the ball game," Trammell said. "I give him a lot of credit. He battled and really competed tonight."

Chicago trailed 2-1 in the seventh when Michael Barrett drew a leadoff walk. He stole second for his first stolen base since May 7, 2004, and advanced to third on a single by Mark DeRosa. Cesar Izturis' RBI single drove Dave Bush from the game.

Cliff Floyd kept the inning going with a pinch hit single off reliever Brian Shouse that drove in DeRosa, giving Chicago a 3-2 lead. Brewers manager Ned Yost brought in reliever Matt Wise to pitch to Soriano, who hit the second pitch he saw into the left field stands for his seventh home run of the season.

"I know he's a low-ball hitter, but I'm a low-ball pitcher," Wise said. "You have to tip your hat. I'll take my chances with that pitch, even if guys know it's coming 90 percent of the time. That's how I pitch."

Bush (3-6) gave up four runs on seven hits in six-plus innings.

"We had opportunities to score runs and break the game open a number of times," Yost said. "We just didn't capitalize."

The Cubs grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first on Ramirez's RBI double into the left field corner.

The Brewers tied the game in the third when Prince Fielder hit his National League-leading 20th home run of the season. Fielder, who was named the NL player of the month for May on Monday, has hit 14 home runs since May 1.

Chicago's season-long troubles continued after Fielder's home run. Johnny Estrada hit a popup near the mound. Marquis appeared ready to catch it, but backed away at the last second and the ball dropped between him, Barrett and three of the Cubs' infielders. Estrada was safe at first on an error charged to Marquis.

"I'm not sure what happened other than we didn't catch the ball," Marquis said. "Luckily it didn't hurt us."

Marquis got out of the inning by getting Geoff Jenkins to ground out.

Game notes
Marquis hit Jenkins in the ankle with a pitch in the fifth inning. Jenkins stayed in the game after conferring with Yost and trainer Roger Caplinger. He ended up leaving the game in the seventh inning with a right ankle contusion. ... With 35,760 fans at Miller Park on Monday night, the Brewers surpassed 1 million in attendance for the season, the second earliest date in club history.