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(Saturday, June 29th)
Final Score: Chicago Cubs 5, Seattle 3 (11 innings)
Seattle, WA (Sports Network) - Alfonso Soriano's two-run homer in the 11th inning lifted the Chicago Cubs to a 5-3 victory over the Seattle Mariners in the middle test of a three-game series.
With Oliver Perez (2-2) pitching for the Mariners, Nate Schierholtz bunted for a single to lead off the 11th. Soriano then connected on a 1-2 pitch that sailed over the center field wall.
"It showed a lot to come out with Schierholtz's nice little bunt and obviously Soriano's homer, but it wasn't just give up and go to dinner," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said of his team battling back after blowing the lead in the ninth.
Carlos Villanueva (2-4) earned the win after pitching flawlessly in the 10th while Blake Parker threw a 1-2-3 11th to pick up his first career save.
Soriano had three RBI while Starlin Castro had a home run for the Cubs, who have won three of their last four games.
Justin Smoak hit a solo shot while Dustin Ackley and Endy Chavez drove in one run apiece for the Mariners, who have lost six of nine.
Castro clubbed a 0-1 pitch to right for a solo homer in the first, but the Mariners pushed across two runs in the second inning.
Smoak delivered a solo shot to right with one out. After Mike Zunino ripped a double, Ackley brought him home with a single to left.
In the away sixth, Luis Valbuena doubled to center and scored on a single by Schierholtz. Soriano then smacked an RBI single up the middle to give the Cubs a 3-2 lead.
Seattle had an opportunity to score in the eighth. Kendrys Morales singled with one out. Jason Bay pinch-ran for him but was caught stealing second. Raul Ibanez then drilled a double to right center. Smoak hit a blooper to left but the 41-year-old Ibanez was thrown out at the plate to end the inning.
Kevin Gregg pitched the ninth for the Cubs. He walked pinch-hitter Henry Blanco with out. Michael Saunders pinch-ran for him and advanced to second on a Nick Franklin groundout.
Chavez then hit an 0-1 splitter up the middle, bringing Saunders home and tying the game. Brad Miller struck out to send the game into extra innings.
"We fought back, but we're still looking to have more consistent at-bats," Seattle manager Eric Wedge said.
Cubs starter Jeff Samardzija allowed two runs on six hits and three walks over seven frames ... Soriano has 381 career home runs, tied with Albert Belle for 63rd all-time. He also needs two homers to reach 175 with the Cubs and to pass Andre Dawson for 12th in team history ... Seattle starter Aaron Harang gave up three runs on five hits in eight innings ... Perez came into the game on a 12- inning scoreless streak and was second amongst American League relievers with a 0.94 ERA.
06/30 00:29:08 ET