Soriano a Hot Topic After Friday

Cubs left fielder Alfonso Soriano was the subject of conversation before and after Friday's 5-2 victory over the New York Mets at Wrigley Field.

Before the game, manager Lou Piniella noted that Soriano hadn't hit a home run since July 29.

Soriano took care of that drought with a three-run homer in the eighth inning that sparked the Cubs to victory.

As happy as Piniella and Soriano were about that, Piniella said he would have to think "long and hard" about playing Soriano in left field Saturday because of Soriano's sore left knee. The knee has bothered Soriano since April, when he banged it into the wall at Wrigley.

Soriano said after Friday's game that he was going to have the knee checked Monday, with an MRI probably being part of the equation. He said earlier this week that postseason surgery was a possibility but that he was hoping to avoid it.


--Soriano hit his 20th homer of the season Friday. It marked the eighth straight year in which Soriano has hit at least 20 homers. He was on base four times, with a walk and two singles in addition to his homer. It was his first multi-hit game since August 7 at Colorado.

--1B Derrek Lee hit his 25th home run of the season Thursday. It is his sixth season of at least 25 homers and his first since 2005. Lee leads the team in homers and in RBIs, with 86.

--3B Aramis Ramirez homered Thursday and extended his hitting streak to five games (9-for-21, .429). The homer was his 184th as a Cub. He is in 10th place on the team's all-time list, six shy of Hack Wilson, who is ninth.

--RHP Carlos Marmol earned his sixth save overall Friday and his second since being given the closer's job last week.

"It's a wonderful opportunity for him, and he's earned it," said Piniella.

--LHP Ted Lilly turned in his team-leading 17th quality start, going 7 1/3 innings and giving up six hits and two runs. Lilly got a no-decision, but he has a 1.86 ERA over his past three starts.

--RF Milton Bradley was on base four times as he raised his OBP to .393, best among Cubs regulars. He doubled twice, walked and singled.

--Ramirez extended his hitting streak to six games with a single in the eighth inning. Ramirez is batting .400 (10-for-25) during the stretch.

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