Oakland at Chicago

Chi. Cubs
W: R. Dempster (5-5) L: G. Gonzalez (6-5)
HR: OAK - None   CHC - D. Lee (8)

Dempster strikes out seven to help struggling Cubs beat Athletics

CBSSports.com wire reports

CHICAGO -- Derrek Lee made up for his shaky performance from a night earlier with a home run and a great defensive stop at first base.

That Lee would rebound so quickly was not a surprise for the Chicago Cubs in a 6-2 victory over Oakland on Wednesday.

What was a bit startling was a sacrifice bunt from Alfonso Soriano -- his first ever in a Cubs uniform and first overall in four years.

"Everybody was surprised and everybody was laughing," Soriano said. "It was a good play. They gave me a green light to do whatever I want."

What Soriano and all of the Cubs, including winning pitcher Ryan Dempster, really want is to shake this season-long funk before it's too late. The win Wednesday night was only Chicago's seventh in the last 19 games.

"I can do whatever I can to make the team better and win and I'm more than happy to do it," Soriano said.

Dempster (5-5) gave up eight hits and two runs, striking out seven in 6 2/3 innings.

A's starter Gio Gonzalez (6-5) surrendered eight hits and a season-high six runs in five innings.

Lee, in a 1-for-13 slump, led off the bottom of the second by lining his eighth homer of the season into the left-field bleachers, tying it at 1. Soriano walked one out later and moved to third on Geovany Soto's liner to center that was scored a double when Ryan Sweeney fell down fielding it. Starlin Castro followed with an RBI single to left and Soto was thrown out at the plate trying to score from second on a strong throw from Conor Jackson.

"That's the great thing about baseball. You have a chance to redeem yourself the next day," said the normally sure-handed Lee, who made two of Chicago's four errors in a sloppy loss Tuesday night.

"I had a terrible night last night. It was embarrassing. So you try to come back and help your team. ... Last night was not fun."

Castro hit a bases-loaded sacrifice fly to make it 3-1 in the fourth. It followed singles by Lee and Xavier Nady and the sacrifice bunt by Soriano -- his first since he was with the Nationals in 2006 and only the ninth of his major league career -- and an intentional walk to Soto.

Nady had a two-out RBI single, a hard smash that went past third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff and made it 4-1 in the fifth, and Soriano followed with a two-run double down the right-field line.

But it was his bunt that had his teammate talking.

"It just shows you right there he cares about us winning more than anything he does personally," Dempster said. "It really brought a spark to us."

The A's got a run in the first when Jackson, was acquired Tuesday from Arizona, and Daric Barton opened with back-to-back singles and Sweeney delivered a sacrifice fly. But with two runners still on, Dempster escaped the big inning by getting Kurt Suzuki to hit into a 1-4-3 double play.

"He mixed it up pretty well and kept the ball down in the zone," Oakland manager Bob Geren said of Dempster. "But we had a chance to get him early."

Dempster, who had a baserunner in each of the first five innings, was backed by three nice defensive plays from third baseman Jeff Baker.

"He got into some jams pretty much every innings," Jackson said. "He's not super overpowering. Kind of works the corners and really doesn't give you much to hit."

Barton had an RBI grounder in the seventh when Lee made a nice stop to keep the ball from getting through for a single.


  • Cubs general manager Jim Hendry said before the game it's too early to plan whether the team will be subtracting or adding as the trade deadline approaches at the end of next month. "We're not 17 back, we're 7½. I like to think these guys know the spot we're in," Hendry said. "You can't defend how we've played. We just have to fight our way out of it." After the win, the Cubs were within 6½ games of the lead.
  • A's OF Coco Crisp had his first rehab assignment at Triple-A Sacramento on Tuesday and went 2 for 3. Crisp, on the DL with a strained chest muscle, is on a 10-day program and will not be activated on the current roadtrip, Geren said.
  • Kouzmanoff had his 15-game hitting streak end, going 0 for 3.
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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Ryan Dempster gets some good work on the mound, leading the Cubs to just their 7th win in 19 games. (AP)
Ryan Dempster gets some good work on the mound, leading the Cubs to just their 7th win in 19 games. (AP)

Players of the Game

D. Lee
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 1

D. Barton
AB 4
R 0
H 2
HR 0

Related Video

Oakland Athletics
Conor Jackson, LF3120100 .245
Daric Barton, 1B4021001 .288
Ryan Sweeney, CF3011012 .302
Kevin Kouzmanoff, 3B3000123 .290
Kurt Suzuki, C4010003 .273
Jack Cust, RF4010021 .299
Adam Rosales, SS2000010 .270
    Tyson Ross, P0000000 .000
    Cedrick Bowers, P0000000 .000
   a- Eric Patterson, PH1000000 .208
Mark Ellis, 2B4010011 .279
Gio Gonzalez, P2000022 .000
    Cliff Pennington, SS2110010 .218
a-flied out for Bowers in the 9th
SF - Ryan Sweeney (3)
SH - Adam Rosales (2)
RBI - Daric Barton (24), Ryan Sweeney (29)
Team LOB - 7
Outfield Assists - Jack Cust 1, Conor Jackson 1
DP - Pennington-Ellis-Barton
Oakland Athletics
Gio Gonzalez (L,6-5) 5866331 4.21
Tyson Ross 2000230 5.94
Cedrick Bowers 1100120 4.05
IBB - Soto by Gio Gonzalez, Castro by Cedrick Bowers
Pitches-Strikes - Gio Gonzalez 89-54, Tyson Ross 29-18, Cedrick Bowers 19-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Gio Gonzalez 4-6, Tyson Ross 1-1
Batters Faced - Gio Gonzalez 24, Tyson Ross 7, Cedrick Bowers 5
Chicago Cubs
Ryan Theriot, 2B4000011 .283
Jeff Baker, 3B3110110 .247
Marlon Byrd, CF3100101 .325
Derrek Lee, 1B4221022 .230
Xavier Nady, RF3121000 .263
    Tyler Colvin, RF1010000 .311
Alfonso Soriano, LF2112101 .278
Geovany Soto, C3010121 .268
Starlin Castro, SS1012200 .269
Ryan Dempster, P3000014 .179
    Sean Marshall, P0000000 .000
   a- Carlos Zambrano, PH1000012 .188
    Carlos Marmol, P0000000 .000
a-struck out for Marshall in the 8th
2B - Tyler Colvin (9, Bowers), Alfonso Soriano (19, G. Gonzalez), Geovany Soto (6, G. Gonzalez)
HR - Derrek Lee (8, G. Gonzalez)
SF - Starlin Castro (2)
SH - Alfonso Soriano (1)
RBI - Derrek Lee (27), Xavier Nady (18), Alfonso Soriano 2 (34), Starlin Castro 2 (16)
2-OUT RBI - Xavier Nady (10), Alfonso Soriano 2 (14)
Team LOB - 6
DP - Dempster-Theriot-Lee, Marshall-Castro-Lee
Chicago Cubs
Ryan Dempster (W,5-5) 6.2822270 3.67
Sean Marshall 1.1100010 1.93
Carlos Marmol 1000020 1.80
WP - Ryan Dempster 2 (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Ryan Dempster 120-72, Sean Marshall 14-11, Carlos Marmol 8-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ryan Dempster 8-4, Sean Marshall 2-0
Batters Faced - Ryan Dempster 29, Sean Marshall 4, Carlos Marmol 3
Game Information
Attendance - 36244
Game Time - 2:33
Temperature - 73
Umpires - Home - Greg Gibson, First Base - Brian Knight, Second Base - Gerry Davis, Third Base - Sam Holbrook