Soriano's homer helps Cubs beat Mariners in 11th
Cubs win after Seattle ties game in ninth
Alfonso Soriano hit a two-run home run off Oliver Perez in the 11th inning and the Chicago Cubs earned a 5-3 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Saturday evening.
It was the second straight extra-inning game between the two teams.
After the Mariners had rallied to tie the game in the ninth inning, Nate Schierholtz led off the 11th inning with a bunt single off Perez (2-2). Soriano followed with a blast over the center-field fence to give the (34-45) Cubs a two-run cushion.
Blake Parker earned his first major-league save pitching a scoreless 11th inning. Carlos Villanueva (2-4) earned the victory in relief for Chicago.
In the sixth inning, Luis Valbuena doubled with one out and scored on an RBI single by Schierholtz. Schierholtz advanced to second on the throw home to put another runner in scoring position. Soriano followed with an RBI single to score Schierholtz and give the Cubs a 3-2 lead.
The Mariners (35-46) blew a chance to tie the game in the eighth inning. Kendrys Morales singled with one out and was replaced by pinch-runner Jason Bay. Bay was thrown out trying to steal second. Raul Ibanez subsequently doubled and Justin Smoak followed with a single, but Ibanez was thrown out at the plate by Brian Bugosevic as the Cubs maintained a one-run lead.
Seattle rallied to tie the game in the ninth. Henry Blanco -- pinch-hitting for pitcher Charlie Furbush - drew a one-out walk and was replaced by Michael Saunders. After a groundout allowed Saunders to advance to second, Endy Chavez singled to center to drive in the tying run.
Notes: Both teams wore throwback uniforms for Saturday's game. The Cubs wore uniforms designed after their uniforms from the early 1900s. The Mariners wore uniforms based on the 1909 Northwest League champion Seattle Turks. ... Mariners 2B Nick Franklin was held out of the starting lineup with a stiff neck before entering as a pinch-hitter in the seventh inning. Brad Miller started in his place with Brendan Ryan getting the start at shortstop. ... Cubs CF Ryan Sweeney was lifted from the game in the fourth inning and replaced by CF Julio Borbon. Sweeney left the game with left rib soreness. ... Mariners CF Dustin Ackley left with a sprained left thumb after diving for a ball in the ninth inning. Bay pinch-ran and then entered defensively to take right field and Chavez moved to center. Because Bay pinch-ran for DH Kendrys Morales, the Mariners lost the designated hitter for the remainder of the game. ... Mariners OF Michael Saunders was only available as a pinch-runner after having his right hand stepped on in Friday night's win over the Cubs. ... Cubs RHP Kevin Gregg blew his first save of the season. He had been a perfect 12-for-12 in save opportunities.
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