St. Louis at Chicago

St. Louis
Chi. Cubs
W: A. Heilman (2-0) L: C. Perez (0-1)
S: C. Marmol (2)
HR: STL - R. Ludwick (4), B. Barden (3), R. Ludwick (5)   CHC - A. Soriano (5)

Strikeout victim Soriano connects in clutch as Cubs top Cards wire reports

CHICAGO -- All Alfonso Soriano needed to see was a pitch to his liking, and that's a pretty broad category.

After striking out three times earlier Friday, Soriano golfed Chris Perez's low slider into the left-field bleachers for a two-run, eighth-inning homer to give the Chicago Cubs an 8-7 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals.

Perez was kicking himself for not throwing the 1-2 slider in the dirt -- and that might have been his only chance to keep Soriano from going deep. A notorious bad-ball hitter, Soriano has five homers in Chicago's first 10 games and two game-winning shots this week.

"It was very low but I like low pitches and I put a good swing on it," Soriano said. Then he laughed and added: "Well, not only low. I like everything. High. Inside. Away. Just throw something close to home plate and I'll hit it."

Perhaps, but he couldn't hit anything in his first three at-bats. He fanned each time on pitches thrown well out of the strike zone by P.J. Walters, who was making his major-league debut in place of injured St. Louis ace Chris Carpenter.

"I don't know this guy," Soriano said. "I think I was too excited. I have to learn they don't want to throw too many strikes to me, especially their first time in the big leagues. I have to calm down."

Mission accomplished in the eighth.

"Sori's always dangerous, no matter what the situation is or what he's done to that point," teammate Derrek Lee said. "He's able to forget about his bad at-bats, and that's not easy. Guys don't like to strike out and a lot of guys shorten their swing. Not Sori. He goes for the kill."

Soriano also beat Milwaukee with a two-run, ninth-inning homer last Sunday.

In losing for only the second time in nine games, the Cardinals couldn't score the tying run after Carlos Marmol opened the ninth inning by walking Colby Rasmus and hitting Albert Pujols with a pitch.

Ryan Ludwick, who had hit two home runs off of Cubs starter Carlos Zambrano, struck out, and pinch-hitter Khalil Greene grounded into a game-ending double play.

"I didn't get the job done, that's all there is to it," Ludwick said. "He threw three straight fastballs right by me."

Brian Barden had given the Cardinals a 6-5 lead in the sixth with his second homer in two days against the Cubs. Ludwick's second homer of the game made it 7-5 in the seventh.

Aramis Ramirez pulled the Cubs within a run in the seventh with an RBI single, his third hit of the day.

All of St. Louis' runs came against Zambrano, who fired his glove to the ground in frustration after allowing a single by Skip Schumaker during the Cardinals' four-run third.

Even with Pujols doing relatively little, the Cardinals scored 14 runs in the first two games of this four-game series between the division archrivals.

"They've got some thunder over there," Cubs manager Lou Piniella said. "They're leading the league in hitting and runs scored and you can see why."


  • Ludwick has a 20-game hitting streak and Chris Duncan an 11-game streak for the Cardinals.
  • For a second consecutive day, Milton Bradley refused to talk about the third-strike argument that resulted in his ejection from Thursday's game. Piniella backed his player, saying: "It didn't look like a good pitch to me." Cardinals manager Tony La Russa's take: "I don't know how the Cubs get away with making the comments they make about umpires." Aside from that lone pinch-hitting appearance, Bradley hasn't played since Sunday due to a groin injury.
Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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After three strikeouts, Alfonso Soriano sends one into the bleachers for the game winner.  (AP)
After three strikeouts, Alfonso Soriano sends one into the bleachers for the game winner. (AP)

Players of the Game

A. Ramirez
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 0
St. Louis

R. Ludwick
AB 5
R 2
H 3
HR 2

Related Video

St. Louis Cardinals
Skip Schumaker, 2B-LF4110101 .278
Colby Rasmus, CF4110112 .242
Albert Pujols, 1B2101110 .326
Ryan Ludwick, RF5234022 .405
Chris Duncan, LF3011020 .385
    Brendan Ryan, SS0000000 .267
   a- Khalil Greene, PH1000001 .227
Yadier Molina, C4010012 .316
Joe Thurston, 3B-2B4000002 .357
Brian Barden, SS-3B3221110 .450
P.J. Walters, P2000012 .000
    Trever Miller, P0000000 .000
   b- David Freese, PH1000000 .158
    Mitchell Boggs, P0000000 .000
   c- Rick Ankiel, PH1010000 .212
    Chris Perez, P0000000 .000
a-grounded into a double play for Ryan in the 9th
b-popped out for Miller in the 6th
c-doubled for Boggs in the 8th
2B - Brian Barden (1, Zambrano), Rick Ankiel (2, Heilman)
HR - Ryan Ludwick 2 (5, Zambrano, Zambrano), Brian Barden (3, Zambrano)
SF - Albert Pujols (1), Chris Duncan (1)
RBI - Albert Pujols (14), Ryan Ludwick 4 (13), Chris Duncan (11), Brian Barden (4)
2-OUT RBI - Ryan Ludwick 3 (3)
Team LOB - 7
DP - Barden-Schumaker-Pujols
E - Albert Pujols (3, Dropped fly)
St. Louis Cardinals
P.J. Walters 4633270 6.75
Trever Miller 1322020 5.40
Mitchell Boggs (H,1) 2211130 4.50
Chris Perez (BS,1; L,0-1) 1122111 6.00
Pitches-Strikes - P.J. Walters 98-59, Trever Miller 18-12, Mitchell Boggs 33-21, Chris Perez 22-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - P.J. Walters 3-1, Mitchell Boggs 1-2, Chris Perez 1-1
Batters Faced - P.J. Walters 19, Trever Miller 6, Mitchell Boggs 9, Chris Perez 5
Chicago Cubs
Alfonso Soriano, LF5112033 .295
Kosuke Fukudome, CF-RF3211120 .371
Derrek Lee, 1B5220013 .225
Micah Hoffpauir, RF4021022 .333
    Reed Johnson, CF0000000 .385
Aramis Ramirez, 3B4133011 .364
Geovany Soto, C3011112 .118
Mike Fontenot, 2B4110014 .229
Ryan Theriot, SS4010000 .371
Carlos Zambrano, P2000120 .000
    Aaron Heilman, P0000000 .000
   a- Aaron Miles, PH0100100 .091
    Carlos Marmol, P0000000 .000
a-walked for Heilman in the 8th
2B - Kosuke Fukudome (5, Boggs), Micah Hoffpauir (2, Walters), Aramis Ramirez (2, Miller)
HR - Alfonso Soriano (5, Perez)
SF - Kosuke Fukudome (1)
RBI - Alfonso Soriano 2 (9), Kosuke Fukudome (9), Micah Hoffpauir (3), Aramis Ramirez 3 (9), Geovany Soto (1)
2-OUT RBI - Aramis Ramirez 2 (6), Geovany Soto (1)
Team LOB - 7
DP - Theriot-Fontenot-Lee
Chicago Cubs
Carlos Zambrano 7977373 5.21
Aaron Heilman (W,2-0) 1100010 1.35
Carlos Marmol (S,2) 1000110 0.00
HBP - Pujols (by Carlos Marmol)
Pitches-Strikes - Carlos Zambrano 109-73, Aaron Heilman 19-12, Carlos Marmol 14-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Carlos Zambrano 6-8, Aaron Heilman 1-1, Carlos Marmol 1-0
Batters Faced - Carlos Zambrano 33, Aaron Heilman 4, Carlos Marmol 4
Game Information
Attendance - 40250
Game Time - 2:39
Temperature - 55
Umpires - Home - Sam Holbrook, First Base - Dan Iassogna, Second Base - Charlie Reliford, Third Base - Larry Vanover