Chicago at Arizona

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Chi. Cubs (10-9) «00342110011150
Arizona (8-12)0001002003100

Zambrano excels at plate as Cubs trounce D-Backs

CBSSports.com wire reports
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PHOENIX -- Only Chicago Cubs manager Lou Piniella could stop Carlos Zambrano.

With Zambrano needing a triple for the cycle, Piniella decided to lift his ace after seven sharp innings and 111 pitches. Zambrano settled for a homer, double and single as the Chicago Cubs routed the Arizona Diamondbacks 11-3 on Tuesday night.

Asked if he would have liked one more at-bat, Zambrano replied, "Yeah, why not? I think sometimes it's good to break some records and be in the history" books.

"I run pretty good, you know," said Zambrano, who has three career triples.

Alfonso Soriano and Mike Fontenot also homered for the Cubs, who won for only the second time in seven games.

Zambrano is a career .235 hitter and a two-time Silver Slugger award winner as the NL's best-hitting pitcher. But he opened the season hitless in nine at-bats.

"I told him about a week ago, you're not swinging the bat like you were last year," Piniella said. "He said it's early."

Zambrano snapped out of his slump with a single in the third. Then he hit a high drive off the top of the wall in right-center to knock in a run in the fifth.

"Don't get me wrong -- I hit it good, but I didn't hit it solid," Zambrano said.

In the seventh, Zambrano hit an 0-2 sinker from Esmerling Vasquez solid. The solo shot landed in the first row of the seats in left for his 17th career homer, most by a Cubs pitcher.

Zambrano said he figured it was only a matter of time until he started hitting.

"I don't what is the panic," Zambrano said. "Last year I started 0 for 10. I ended up winning the Silver Slugger."

The homer brought a roar from the large contingent of Cubs fans in the Chase Field crowd of 30,351.

Early on, it looked as if Zambrano would need a lot of run support. In the first, he escaped a first-and-third jam by getting Mark Reynolds to bounce into an inning-ending double play.

"We didn't cash in early," Arizona third baseman Chad Tracy said. "He made his pitches when he had to."

Zambrano (2-1) waved to acknowledge a standing ovation from fans behind the visiting dugout as he walked off after the seventh, his last inning. Zambrano allowed three runs and eight hits, walking two and striking out three.

The ball was jumping -- for the Cubs, at least -- with Chase Field's roof and panels open on an 85-degree evening in the desert. The Cubs didn't look like a team that mustered three hits against Dan Haren in a 7-2 loss on Monday night.

"Our bats came alive tonight," Piniella said.

Every Cubs starter had a hit by the fourth inning, including catcher Koyie Hill, who had three singles and an RBI subbing for slumping Geovany Soto, the 2008 NL Rookie of the Year.

Soriano homered in consecutive games for the third time this season. With two on in the third, he hit an 0-1 delivery from Yusmeiro Petit (0-2) into the seats in left for his seventh homer, giving the Cubs a 3-0 lead.

One inning later, Fontenot hit an 0-1 pitch into the pool area beyond the wall in right-center to make it 5-1.

Petit, who has replaced the injured Brandon Webb in the rotation, allowed seven runs and eight hits in 3 2/3 innings. He walked three and struck out two.

"He just couldn't stop the bleeding once they got going a little bit," Arizona manager Bob Melvin said.

Notes

  • Chicago 3B Aramis Ramirez, who has a strained calf, ran before the game but couldn't accelerate, Piniella said. Ramirez will be re-evaluated when the club returns to Chicago on Thursday. "If it's not any better then, we're going to have to weigh all our options," Piniella said.
  • Chicago 1B Derrek Lee, who's been out with neck spasms, took batting practice and is expected to return to the lineup on Wednesday afternoon.
 
Copyright 2014 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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Carlos Zambrano pitches, too? He goes 3-for-4 with a homer and is a triple short of the cycle. (AP)
Carlos Zambrano pitches, too? He goes 3-for-4 with a homer and is a triple short of the cycle. (AP)

Players of the Game
Chicago

C. Zambrano
IP 7.0
H 8
ER 3
BB 2
K 3
Chicago

A. Soriano
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 1
RBI 4
 

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Chicago Cubs
Alfonso Soriano, LF4224100 .313
    Reed Johnson, LF1000000 .235
Ryan Theriot, SS4011121 .311
Kosuke Fukudome, CF1010300 .358
   a- Joey Gathright, PH-CF1000000 .125
Micah Hoffpauir, 1B5111002 .303
Milton Bradley, RF4120113 .107
Mike Fontenot, 3B5112013 .238
Koyie Hill, C5231011 .370
Aaron Miles, 2B5110003 .184
Carlos Zambrano, P4332001 .231
    Angel Guzman, P1000000 .000
Totals4011151165  
a-grounded out for Fukudome in the 7th
Batting
2B - Carlos Zambrano (1, Rauch)
HR - Alfonso Soriano (7, Petit), Mike Fontenot (3, Petit), Carlos Zambrano (1, Vasquez)
RBI - Alfonso Soriano 4 (14), Ryan Theriot (7), Micah Hoffpauir (8), Mike Fontenot 2 (9), Koyie Hill (6), Carlos Zambrano 2 (2)
2-OUT RBI - Alfonso Soriano (2), Ryan Theriot (2), Micah Hoffpauir (4), Koyie Hill (4), Carlos Zambrano (1)
CS - Kosuke Fukudome (3, 2nd base by Petit/Montero)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Theriot-Miles-Hoffpauir
Chicago Cubs
Carlos Zambrano (W,2-1) 7833230 4.64
Angel Guzman 2200120 4.35
Pitches-Strikes - Carlos Zambrano 111-70, Angel Guzman 30-20
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Carlos Zambrano 8-9, Angel Guzman 1-3
Batters Faced - Carlos Zambrano 30, Angel Guzman 9
Arizona Diamondbacks
Felipe Lopez, 2B4021000 .321
    Scott Schoeneweis, P0000000 .000
    Tom Gordon, P0000000 .000
   a- Tony Clark, PH1000010 .167
Augie Ojeda, SS3010001 .324
    Esmerling Vasquez, P0000000 .000
   b- Ryan Roberts, PH-2B1000101 .250
Chad Tracy, 1B4000114 .236
Mark Reynolds, 3B4110001 .275
Conor Jackson, LF3010101 .200
Chris Young, CF4011022 .219
Miguel Montero, C4120001 .231
Justin Upton, RF4110003 .226
Yusmeiro Petit, P1000000 .000
    Jon Rauch, P0000000 .000
   c- Josh Wilson, PH-SS3011010 .333
Totals36310335  
a-struck out for Gordon in the 9th
b-grounded out for Vasquez in the 7th
c-struck out for Rauch in the 5th
Batting
2B - Felipe Lopez (8, Zambrano), Mark Reynolds (3, Zambrano), Chris Young (9, Zambrano)
RBI - Felipe Lopez (5), Chris Young (7), Josh Wilson (1)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - Ojeda-F. Lopez-Tracy
Arizona Diamondbacks
Yusmeiro Petit (L,0-2) 3.2877322 8.62
Jon Rauch 1.1422120 9.64
Esmerling Vasquez 2222211 6.00
Scott Schoeneweis 1100000 2.35
Tom Gordon 1000000 0.00
Pitches-Strikes - Yusmeiro Petit 68-43, Jon Rauch 31-22, Esmerling Vasquez 38-22, Scott Schoeneweis 12-7, Tom Gordon 9-5
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Yusmeiro Petit 4-3, Jon Rauch 1-1, Esmerling Vasquez 2-3, Scott Schoeneweis 3-0, Tom Gordon 3-0
Batters Faced - Yusmeiro Petit 20, Jon Rauch 9, Esmerling Vasquez 10, Scott Schoeneweis 4, Tom Gordon 3
Game Information
Attendance - 30351
Game Time - 2:49
Temperature - 85
Umpires - Home - Tim Timmons, First Base - Jeff Kellogg, Second Base - Mark Wegner, Third Base - Rob Drake