Cubs 4, Diamondbacks 1

By Chris Rewers on Monday, April 4, 2011

Hero: Alfonso Soriano hit a game-tying home run - his second in as many days - in the third inning and contributed a clutch two-out single in the eighth to drive in a crucial go-ahead run. Soriano didn't hit his second homer until his 15th game last season.

Goat: Starlin Castro went 0-for-3 and committed his first error of the season on a throw in the eighth inning.

Key Plays: With the Cubs clinging to a 2-1 lead, the situation in the top of the eighth was all to reminiscent of Sunday's ninth-inning Cubs flop. Leadoff hitter Justin Upton reached first against Kerry Wood on Castro's error and Russell Branyan followed with a single. The runners moved up to second and third on Chris Young's groundout. Miguel Montero was intentionally walked to load the bases, but Wood escaped the jam by striking out Ryan Roberts and getting Gerardo Parra to fly out to left.
It was Wood's third scoreless inning in as many days. The Diamondbacks stranded 11 baserunners.

Comments: Cubs starter Randy Wells, who was just 8-14 last season, won his first start of the season after a shaky start. Arizona's Willie Bloomquist homered to lead off the game. But that was the only run the Diamondbacks could muster off Wells who walked four, struck out six, and allowed six hits in six innings. It was welcome to see Wells, who had more than his share of first inning struggles last year, shake off that tough start. Bloomquist's long ball is the only extra-base hit surrendered by Cubs pitchers over the last two games.

"A little sloppy," Wells said. "The home run was a mistake. The first hitter of the game, you don't want to walk him. ... It's not the end of the world. A solo homer. You almost got to start the game over."

Carlos Pena, who drove in the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly in the fourth, left the game in the eighth after spraining his right thumb while attempting to snag Castro's errant throw.

Next: Andrew Cashner will make his first career start Tuesday (CSN, 1:20 p.m.) at Wrigley Field when he opposes Arizona's Barry Enright. The Diamondbacks right-hander was pushed back a day by manager Kirk Gibson because of the team's snowout in Denver on Sunday.

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