video thumbnail

STL@CHC: Soriano singles to win it in the 10th

CHICAGO -- Bryan LaHair delivered an unexpected homer off a lefty, Tony Campana created havoc on the bases and Alfonso Soriano came through with a unlikely clutch hit. Somehow, it all added up to another walk-off win for the Cubs.

LaHair belted a game-tying homer to lead off the ninth, and Soriano hit an RBI single with two outs in the 10th to lift the Cubs to a 3-2 victory Tuesday night over the Cardinals and their first series victory of the season. It's the first time the Cubs have posted back-to-back walk-off wins over the Cardinals at Wrigley since July 26-27, 1961.

"We know we're not going to bang the ball around the park," Cubs starter Jeff Samardzija said. "We just need to pitch well, play good defense, and when we get those opportunities to score runs, we have to get them across."

With one out in the 10th, Campana singled and stole second, although the Cardinals felt second baseman Tyler Greene's tag was in time. St. Louis manager Mike Matheny may be in favor of instant replay. It was the second time in the game the TV replay seemed to support his argument. But second-base umpire Bill Welke didn't budge, and Matheny was ejected for the first time in his managerial career.

Campana had no plans to watch a replay. After all, the umpire called him safe.

"No, I'm not going to watch it," he said. "It was really close. I'm not going to look at it."

One out later, LaHair was intentionally walked, and Soriano smacked a single off Fernando Salas that Greene deflected.

Give Campana a huge assist in the win.

"He gets the pitcher a little out of his rhythm, and sometimes balls get left up in the zone or they walk a guy because they're worried about him," Samardzija said. "Even when he was on second base, you could tell Salas was worried about him."

"That's what I've always wanted," Campana said. "You want to come here and have people fear you getting on base. They know I can get in scoring position if I hit a single or a double."

LaHair's homer was his first hit off a left-hander in seven at-bats this year. He sent the first pitch from Marc Rzepczynski into the left-field bleachers for his third homer of the year and the first by the Cubs since April 13. LaHair had contributed Monday night with a 12-pitch at-bat in the ninth to set up Joe Mather's game-winning two-run single.

Cubs manager Dale Sveum didn't even consider lifting LaHair for a pinch-hitter.

"Not one run down with calm winds," Sveum said. "Rzepczynski, he's just as tough on right-handers. His ball has a lot of movement and sometimes left-handers have good at-bats off him. I didn't even think about pinch-hitting there."

However, LaHair wasn't as convinced as his manager.

"I wasn't sure I was going to hit that inning," LaHair said. "[Rzepczynski] left the ball up and I put a good swing on it and hit the ball hard."

The Cubs had runners at second and third later in the inning, but Salas struck out Mather. His hit Monday came off closer Jason Motte, who threw 31 pitches. Motte did get up briefly in the Cardinals' bullpen but then sat down.

Matt Holliday had given St. Louis a 2-1 lead with a two-run homer with two outs in the eighth off Carlos Marmol. St. Louis had one on and two outs when Marmol entered. Holliday launched a 2-2 pitch into the left-center-field bleachers for his fourth homer.

Marmol, who blew 10 save chances last year, is now 1-for-3 in save situations. It was the Cubs' first such opportunity in 14 games since April 8.

"To me, that's just a case of a 2-2 slider that one of the strongest guys in baseball hit for a home run," Sveum said. "Did [Marmol] do anything wrong? No. It was just another guy on the other side of the fence, who is making a lot of money, who does that quite often. He'll be out there closing tomorrow."

Samardzija deserved better. He struck out a career-high nine batters and was in line for the win, which would've been his second over the defending world champions. He threw first-pitch strikes to all but seven of the 25 batters faced and held the Cardinals to four hits over 6 2/3 scoreless innings.

"This was like his first outing [April 8 against the Nationals] -- it was pretty smooth, pretty easy, no stress at all," Sveum said. "His split-finger was devastating tonight, but the bottom line was, he threw strikes and got ahead and was able to use his split."

Samardzija's previous strikeout high was eight, set April 8, against the Nationals in his first start of the season.

The Cubs tallied on a questionable call in the first. David DeJesus doubled to lead off against Adam Wainwright, moved up on a sacrifice and scored, according to home-plate umpire Chris Conroy, on Starlin Castro's sacrifice fly. Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina immediately argued the call, and replays appeared to support his case as DeJesus didn't seem to touch home plate. Matheny argued that one, too.

"It's a shame is all," Matheny said. "First run was a shame and the last run was a shame. Those are my thoughts.

"The conversation [in the 10th] was, I thought he was out and I knew they missed the earlier call. To sit there and watch our guys get short-ended on great plays and not have something to say about it would be tragic." Comments