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Houston (50-49)0100000000000180
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Soriano's walk-off slam in 13th propels Cubs

CBSSports.com wire reports
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CHICAGO -- Alfonso Soriano was able to stand and watch this time.

The Cubs slugger redeemed himself for an earlier mental miscue by hitting a game-ending grand slam in the 13th inning to lead Chicago past the Houston Astros 5-1 on Monday night.

"I never thought about it, to hit a grand slam," Soriano said. "I just wanted to try put the ball in the air, try to score the run because it was the 13th inning. I made a very good swing."

Reliever Chris Sampson (4-2) gave up a leadoff walk on four pitches to Derrek Lee in the 13th, and Aramis Ramirez followed with a single to put runners on first and third. After an intentional walk to Milton Bradley loaded the bases, Soriano followed with a long homer -- his fourth career slam -- over the center-field wall to end it.

"I think that's the best swing I made in the second half," Soriano said.

Jeff Samardzija (1-1) pitched two scoreless innings in relief, and Lee also homered as the Cubs won their fifth straight and maintained their half-game lead over the St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Central.

Soriano had an embarrassing moment in the 11th, when he hit a slow bouncer to third with one out and a runner on first. He didn't run, even though the ball was fair, and continued to stand in the box after he was thrown out at first and booed by the fans.

"The ball hit me on my foot," he said. "If I run, maybe it is a base hit, but as soon as the ball hit me on my foot, I think it is a foul ball so I don't have a motive to run to first base because it hit me on my foot."

Manager Lou Piniella did not discuss the incident much after the game.

"He thought he had fouled it off his foot, yeah," Piniella said.

Added Soriano: "I got the victory tonight and everybody is happy now."

The Cubs had a great opportunity to win the game in the ninth when Bradley drew a leadoff walk off Astros reliever Jose Valverde. Bradley swiped second base as Soriano struck out, and Valverde intentionally walked pinch-hitter Micah Hoffpauir and Kosuke Fukudome, also drew a pinch-hit walk to load the bases.

Valverde got a break when the Cubs couldn't execute a suicide squeeze. Bradley broke for the plate as pinch-hitter Mike Fontenot attempted a bunt, but Fontenot missed and Bradley was tagged out well before the plate by catcher Ivan Rodriguez. Fontenot later ended the inning by flying out to center to boos.

"I tell you what, our guys stuck with it," Piniella said. "Soriano ended it in dramatic fashion. I tell you what, our young pitching really did a nice job today. ... Look, it was a good win for us, it really was. Well pitched on both sides."

Cubs starter Carlos Zambrano allowed a home run to Carlos Lee on an 0-2 pitch in the second inning, while Astros starter Wandy Rodriguez gave up a homer to Derrek Lee -- also on an 0-2 pitch -- in the fourth that landed on Waveland Ave. It was his 20th of the season, matching his home run total of 2008.

"This was a tough one, but we battled hard and played hard," Astros manager Cecil Cooper said. "We had some chances and just didn't get the big base hit."

With runners on first and third with two outs in the seventh, Zambrano ended the inning by striking out Chris Coste. The always demonstrative Zambrano, yelled as he walked to the dugout with the fans on their feet.

Rodriguez allowed a two-out double to Jeff Baker in the seventh. Cooper decided to intentionally walk eighth hitter Hill, which set up Piniella's decision to stick with Zambrano to bat. Zambrano, who earlier doubled, came to the plate with the fans chanting "Let's Go Z!" but he ended the inning and his day by hitting into a fielder's choice.

Rodriguez allowed just one run on six hits, struck out seven and walked two. Zambrano gave up one run and three hits, and worked around four walks by striking out four.

"Wandy pitched really good," Cooper said. "I didn't think he was particularly sharp, but he battled and kept us in the game. He matched 'Z' pitch for pitch and you can't ask for much more than that."

Astros reliever LaTroy Hawkins was ejected in the eighth inning for arguing balls and strikes.

"Let me see," Hawkins said. "Do I want to tell you the version, the truth that's going to get me in trouble or am I going to be the nice guy?

"Well, I thought it was a strike and I told him, 'Come on, I need that pitch. You don't need any help.' And he said, 'Knock it off.' And I waved him off and he threw me out of the game. Maybe he was having a bad day. I thought he had determined who he wanted to win the game anyway."

Notes

  • Cubs LHP Ted Lilly, on the DL with left shoulder inflammation, also had his left knee scoped Monday, which is not related to his shoulder injury. According to Piniella, the procedure went well. He is expected to be back in mid August.
  • RHP Ryan Dempster is scheduled to start Tuesday against the Astros. He has been on the DL with a broken right toe since July 7.
 
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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Alfonso Soriano's only hit in six at-bats is a big one: his fourth career grand slam.  (AP)
Alfonso Soriano's only hit in six at-bats is a big one: his fourth career grand slam. (AP)

Players of the Game
Chicago

A. Soriano
AB 6
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 4
Houston

C. Lee
AB 5
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 1
 

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Houston Astros
Michael Bourn, CF4010200 .283
Kazuo Matsui, 2B5000021 .244
Miguel Tejada, SS5020100 .327
Carlos Lee, LF5121102 .311
Geoff Blum, 3B5000024 .271
Hunter Pence, RF4010110 .295
Chris Coste, 1B5000033 .246
Humberto Quintero, C1000110 .225
   a- Matt Kata, PH1000000 .216
    LaTroy Hawkins, P0000000 .000
    Jose Valverde, P0000000 .000
   b- Jason Michaels, PH1010000 .193
    Alberto Arias, P0000000 .000
   c- Jeff Keppinger, PH1010000 .269
    Chris Sampson, P0000000 .000
Wandy Rodriguez, P1000000 .051
   d- Ivan Rodriguez, PH-C3000022 .258
Totals41181611  
a-popped out for Quintero in the 8th
b-tripled for Valverde in the 10th
c-singled for Arias in the 12th
d-struck out for Rodriguez in the 8th
Batting
2B - Miguel Tejada 2 (33, Marmol, Stevens)
3B - Jason Michaels (1, Stevens)
HR - Carlos Lee (16, Zambrano)
SH - Kazuo Matsui (9), Wandy Rodriguez (5)
RBI - Carlos Lee (61)
CS - Michael Bourn (9, 2nd base by Zambrano/Hill)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - Tejada-Matsui-Coste, Tejada-Matsui-Coste
Houston Astros
Wandy Rodriguez 7611271 2.65
LaTroy Hawkins 0.2000100 2.32
Jose Valverde 1.1000310 2.73
Alberto Arias 2100110 1.91
Chris Sampson (L,4-2) 1244201 3.70
IBB - Hill by Wandy Rodriguez, Hoffpauir by Jose Valverde, Fox by Alberto Arias, Bradley by Chris Sampson
Pitches-Strikes - Wandy Rodriguez 101-67, LaTroy Hawkins 19-9, Jose Valverde 30-12, Alberto Arias 31-17, Chris Sampson 25-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Wandy Rodriguez 11-1, LaTroy Hawkins 2-0, Jose Valverde 1-1, Alberto Arias 4-1, Chris Sampson 2-1
Batters Faced - Wandy Rodriguez 27, LaTroy Hawkins 3, Jose Valverde 6, Alberto Arias 8, Chris Sampson 7
Chicago Cubs
Reed Johnson, CF6000021 .243
Ryan Theriot, SS6000011 .294
Derrek Lee, 1B3221300 .289
Aramis Ramirez, 3B6130003 .338
Milton Bradley, RF4110202 .248
Alfonso Soriano, LF6114032 .252
Jeff Baker, 2B3010011 .196
   a- Micah Hoffpauir, PH0000100 .238
    Jake Fox, C0000100 .315
Koyie Hill, C2000110 .203
   b- Kosuke Fukudome, PH0000100 .266
    Jeff Stevens, P0000000 .000
    Sean Marshall, P0000000 .231
   c- Andres Blanco, PH1000002 .218
    Jeff Samardzija, P0000000 .000
Carlos Zambrano, P3010012 .224
    Aaron Heilman, P0000000 .000
    Carlos Marmol, P0000000 .000
   d- Mike Fontenot, PH-2B2000002 .229
Totals4259599  
a-was walked intentionally for Baker in the 9th
b-walked for Hill in the 9th
c-grounded out for Marshall in the 11th
d-flied out for Marmol in the 9th
Batting
2B - Aramis Ramirez (8, Rodriguez), Jeff Baker (3, Rodriguez), Carlos Zambrano (3, Rodriguez)
HR - Derrek Lee (20, Rodriguez), Alfonso Soriano (18, Sampson)
RBI - Derrek Lee (64), Alfonso Soriano 4 (45)
SB - Milton Bradley (1, 2nd base off Valverde/Rodriguez)
CS - Milton Bradley (2, Home by Valverde/Rodriguez)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
DP - Ramirez-Baker-Lee, Baker-Theriot-Lee, Theriot-Fontenot-Lee
Chicago Cubs
Carlos Zambrano 7311441 3.36
Aaron Heilman 1000010 4.40
Carlos Marmol 1100020 3.10
Jeff Stevens 1.2200130 0.00
Sean Marshall 0.1000010 3.78
Jeff Samardzija (W,1-1) 2200100 5.40
IBB - Lee by Jeff Stevens
Pitches-Strikes - Carlos Zambrano 102-57, Aaron Heilman 14-9, Carlos Marmol 19-15, Jeff Stevens 36-19, Sean Marshall 3-3, Jeff Samardzija 24-16
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Carlos Zambrano 10-4, Aaron Heilman 1-1, Carlos Marmol 1-0, Jeff Samardzija 4-1
Batters Faced - Carlos Zambrano 25, Aaron Heilman 3, Carlos Marmol 4, Jeff Stevens 8, Sean Marshall 1, Jeff Samardzija 8
Game Information
Attendance - 40794
Game Time - 3:49
Temperature - 78
Umpires - Home - Mike Everitt, First Base - Brian Gorman, Second Base - Gerry Davis, Third Base - C.B. Bucknor