No Soriano was No Problem

It doesn't appear that Cubs manager Lou Piniella will move left fielder Alfonso Soriano out of the leadoff spot. So Piniella did the next best thing in Wednesday's series finale at Pittsburgh: He moved Soriano out of the lineup altogether, and Soriano may get a game off during the upcoming home series against Milwaukee.

Soriano played in 70 of the first 74 games of the season, and he had gone 0-for-7 in the first two games at Pittsburgh.

Although he has picked it up slightly at the plate of late, Soriano had a rough June overall. He hit only two home runs during the month, the last coming June 7.

For the month, Soriano batted .198 with a .296 on-base percentage and a .423 slugging percentage.

Sam Fuld, called up this week from Class AAA Iowa, started in left field and led off Wednesday in place of Soriano. Expect Fuld to see time at all three outfield spots until Reed Johnson comes off the disabled list.

CUBS 4, PIRATES 1: 1B Derrek Lee hit a two-run homer in the first inning, and RHP Randy Wells evened his record to 3-3 by working seven innings and giving up six hits and one run. Four Cubs had two hits apiece as the team finished the 10-game road trip 3-7.


--Fuld led off Wednesday's game with his first major league hit, a double. Fuld also made a nice catch and threw out Pittsburgh's Jack Wilson at the plate to earn an assist. Fuld went 2-for-4.

--CF Kosuke Fukudome homered in the sixth inning Wednesday. It was Fukudome's first homer since May 26, when he connected off the Pirates' Ian Snell at Wrigley Field. Fukudome, who has been slumping, was 2-for-4, raising his average to .260.

--RF Milton Bradley got a start in the series finale at Pittsburgh after Piniella had said he'd get both Tuesday and Wednesday off to work on his left-handed stroke. Bradley was 0-for-2 with two walks. His batting average is .239.

--RHP Carlos Marmol hit his seventh batter of the season in the eighth inning but averted further damage. Walks and hit batters have been big issues with Marmol all season. He has been looking at tapes with pitching coach Larry Rothschild, who says Marmol needs to find a release point with his slider. Marmol earned his 17th hold of the season.

--RHP Angel Guzman started and pitched one perfect inning Tuesday for Class A Peoria in a rehab appearance. Guzman is on the disabled list with a right triceps strain. He could rejoin the Cubs early next week and re-assume his seventh- and eighth-inning role.

--The Sports XChange



At Des Moines, the Cubs (40-39) were held to seven hits in the loss Wednesday, their second straight 1-0 defeat and fifth straight loss overall. Seven players recorded one hit apiece for Iowa, including CF Matt Camp (1-for-6), who doubled for the team's only extra-base hit. The Cubs used seven pitchers with LHP John Gaub (0-1) suffering the loss in one inning of relief. RHP Jose Ascanio started and tossed four scoreless innings in a no-decision. He struck out seven batters and allowed two hits and two walks.


At Sevierville, Tenn., the Smokies (37-43 overall, 5-5 second half) collected 10 hits and stranded 14 on base in the loss Wednesday. LF Tyler Colvin (2-for-3, walk) reached base three times. He has hit safely in six of his last seven games and is batting .310 in 27 contests with Tennessee. LHP Jeremy Papelbon started and tossed five scoreless innings, allowing three hits and three walks. He struck out three. RHP Jake Muyco (2-3) suffered the loss in relief, allowing two runs and four hits in two innings.


At Daytona Beach, the Cubs (38-36, 4-3) were held to five hits in the loss Wednesday. CF Tony Campana (2-for-4) and 2B Marwin Gonzalez (2-for-3) collected two hits apiece to pace the offense. Campana stole two bases to bring his season total to 34 – most in the Cubs' system. RHP Ryan Searle (5-7) started and suffered the loss. He allowed four runs and seven hits in five innings, striking out a career-high seven batters.


At Geneva, Ill., the Chiefs (39-36, 1-5) out-hit the Cougars, 8-4, in the loss Wednesday. 3B Jose Made (3-for-4) tripled and drove in two runs to pace the offense. LF Josh Harrison (1-for-5) extended his hit streak to seven straight games. RHP Justin Bristow (3-4) started and suffered the loss, allowing two earned runs and four hits in three innings.


At Pasco, Wash., the Hawks (3-9) out-hit the Dust Devils, 7-4, in the loss Wednesday. CF Jae-Hoon Ha (2-for-4) paced the offense with two hits and collected his ninth RBI. SS Hak-Ju Lee (1-for-4) collected his fifth double and sixth RBI. Lee has hit safely in 10 of his first 11 games with Boise and is batting .349 overall. LHP Ryan Sontag (1-1) suffered the loss in 1 1/3 innings in relief. RHP Robert Hernandez started and received a no-decision. He allowed four runs and four hits in four innings. He struck out three and walked one.


At Mesa, the Cubs (4-5) collected 11 hits in the victory Wednesday. 1B Justin Bour (3-for-4) and C Richard Jones (3-for-5) paced the offense with three hits apiece. Jones, the Cubs' ninth-round pick in the 2009 draft from The Citadel, hit two home runs and drove in five runs total in his professional debut. OF/DH Brett Jackson (1-for-2), the Cubs' first-round pick from California, made his pro debut and collected two walks, an RBI and three runs scored. 2B Blair Springfield, the seventh-round pick from MacArthur High School (Ill.) also made his professional debut and was 0-for-3 and was hit by a pitch. RHP Carlos Rojas (1-0) got the win in relief with 1 1/3 scoreless innings. RHP Toby Matchulat started and received a no-decision, tossing four scoreless innings and allowing one hit and two walks. He struck out five and has not allowed an earned run through 11 innings to open the season.

--Staff Reports

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