Chicago, IL (Sports Network) – Alfonso Soriano and Starlin Castro each knocked in two runs, as the Chicago Cubs defeated Oakland, 6-2, in the middle contest of a three-game interleague series at Wrigley Field.
Derrek Lee and Xavier Nady both registered two hits and one RBI for the Cubs, who won for just the fifth time in their last 15 games. Ryan Dempster (5-5) gave up two runs on eight hits and two walks with seven strikeouts over 6 2/3 innings.
Oakland starter Gio Gonzalez (6-5) yielded six runs on eight hits and three walks in five innings. The Athletics have lost four of their last five games.
The A’s took a 1-0 lead in the first inning when Conor Jackson, acquired in a trade from Arizona on Tuesday, led off with a single, hustled to third on a base hit by Daric Barton and scored on Ryan Sweeney’s sacrifice fly.
Lee homered to left field off Gonzalez to begin the second, and Castro added a run-scoring single later in the inning that put Chicago in front.
Gonzalez escaped a bases-loaded jam in the fourth, allowing just one run on a sac fly by Castro. Chicago, though, widened the gap in the next frame as Nady singled home Jeff Baker and scored along with Marlon Byrd on a double by Soriano.
Barton had an RBI groundout in the seventh, but Sean Marshall and Carlos Marmol combined to allow just one hit the rest of the way in relief of Dempster.
Jackson had two hits and a walk…Oakland finished 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position…A’s third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff went 0-for-3 to snap his hitting streak at a career-high 15 games.
(Sports Network) - The Chicago Cubs hope to show some signs of life on this current homestand and will continue a three-game interleague series tonight versus the Oakland Athletics at historic Wrigley Field.
The Cubs have lost 10 of their last 14 games and fell to 1-3 on a nine-game homestand following Tuesday's 9-5 setback to the A's in the series opener. Cubs starter Carlos Zambrano was dealt the loss and surrendered five runs, two of which were earned, on seven hits and three walks in six innings.
"It wasn't very pretty," Cubs manager Lou Piniella said of the loss on the team's site. "Too many errors, walks, wild pitches, a little bit of everything. [Bad] baserunning. Not a good game."
Ryan Dempster will try to get things going for the Cubs when he takes the mound this evening. Dempster has won two of his last three decisions, but did not factor in the outcome his last time out in a 5-4 loss at Milwaukee on Thursday. Dempster yielded three runs -- two earned -- in 5 1/3 innings.
The right-hander, who is 4-5 with a 3.74 ERA in 13 starts, will take on the Athletics for the first time in his career.
Oakland ended a three-game losing streak with yesterday's win, as Rajai Davis finished with three hits and two RBI and Kevin Kouzmanoff collected three hits and a pair of runs scored. Cliff Pennington contributed two hits, three runs scored and an RBI for the A's, who are four games off the lead in the AL West.
"Pitching and defense helps you to win ball games," Davis said. "Obviously you have to add some offense to that. [The Cubs] didn't play what they're capable of playing and we were able to take advantage of that."
Kouzmanoff is hitting .458 with three home runs and 11 RBI during a career- high 15-game hitting streak. He has eight multi-hit games over that span.
Oakland's Trevor Cahill earned the win -- his sixth of the season -- after he pitched 5 2/3 innings and allowed four runs on six hits with five strikeouts. It was his fifth straight winning decision.
Gio Gonzalez gets the call for the Athletics tonight and hopes to get back on track after having his unbeaten streak come to an end his last time out in a 6-2 loss at San Francisco on Friday. He was reached for four runs and six hits in 5 1/3 innings, falling to 6-4 in 13 starts to go along with a 3.79 earned run average.
The lefty has never faced the Cubs and is 2-2 in seven road starts in 2010.
Chicago won two of three meetings with Oakland from June 18-20 of the 2004 campaign and is 93-101 against the American League. The Athletics own a solid 132-105 ledger in games played against the Senior Circuit.