Soto’s homer delivers Cubs

Bradley eruption spoils victory over White Sox

The Cubs’ Geovany Soto (right) celebrates his three-run home run in the seventh inning that brought down the crosstown rival White Sox. The Cubs’ Geovany Soto (right) celebrates his three-run home run in the seventh inning that brought down the crosstown rival White Sox. (Paul Beaty/Associated Press)
Associated Press / June 27, 2009
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Lou Piniella lost his patience after Milton Bradley lost his cool.

The Chicago Cubs still won, and they can thank Geovany Soto, of all people, for that.

At the center of controversy the previous day, Soto delivered the tiebreaking three-run homer to help the Cubs beat the White Sox, 5-4, yesterday at U.S. Cellular Field.

“As soon as I come through those doors, nothing matters but the game,’’ said Soto, who has struggled this season. “In here, it doesn’t matter. Everything goes out the window when I step in here.’’

On a day when things seemed to be taking a positive turn, there was more controversy instead.

Bradley attacked the cooler in the dugout after he flied out in the the sixth, leading to an angry exchange in the tunnel with Piniella, who told him to get dressed and go home. Ryan Freel replaced him in right field in the bottom half.

“This has been a common occurrence and I’ve looked the other way a lot and I’m tired,’’ said Piniella. “I’m not into discipline, I’m really not. I’m going to put his name in the lineup [today] and that’s it.’’

The chaos in the dugout and the tunnel overshadowed a dramatic and much-needed win for the Cubs.

Soto hit a three-run homer off Jose Contreras (2-7) in the seventh to give the Cubs a 5-2 lead.

Randy Wells (2-3) won his second straight start, allowing two runs and five hits in seven innings, and the Cubs hung on.

Yankees 9, Mets 1 - Alex Rodriguez hit his 564th home run to pass Reggie Jackson on the career list, three errors by Mets infielders led to a four-run second inning, and CC Sabathia pitched the Yankees to victory at Citi Field.

Fill-in leadoff batter Brett Gardner had a career-high five hits, including his third home run of the season and a triple. Rodriguez made it 7-1 with a two-run, opposite-field drive in the eighth.

Blue Jays 6, Phillies 1 - Ricky Romero held Philadelphia hitless for six innings and Aaron Hill hit a two-run double in host Toronto’s victory over slumping Philadelphia.

Orioles 11, Nationals 1 - Rookie Brad Bergesen allowed four hits in six innings to win his fourth straight decision, Melvin Mora had four RBIs, and host Baltimore routed Washington.

Pirates 5, Royals 3 - Virgil Vasquez went six innings for his first major league win and host Pittsburgh got home runs from unlikely power sources Nyjer Morgan, Jason Jaramillo, and Jack Wilson in its victory over Kansas City.

Indians 9, Reds 2 - Jeremy Sowers pitched into the eighth inning for his first win as a starter this season and Ryan Garko hit a two-run homer to lead Cleveland over visiting Cincinnati for just its second win in 10 games.

Dodgers 8, Mariners 2 - Andre Ethier had his first three-homer game and drove in a career-high six runs to lead host Los Angeles over Seattle.

Twins 3, Cardinals 1 - Glen Perkins worked seven innings in 92-degree heat and visiting Minnesota got key hits from Jason Kubel and Michael Cuddyer in its victory over slumping St. Louis.

Rays 7, Marlins 3 - B.J. Upton’s three-run double snapped an eighth-inning tie and helped Tampa Bay beat Florida in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Angels 12, Diamondbacks 3 - Torii Hunter homered to cap an eight-run second inning and Los Angeles routed host Arizona.

Rockies 4, Athletics 2 - Garrett Atkins had three hits and two RBIs, Jason Hammel remained unbeaten in June, and Colorado won in Oakland, Calif.

Astros 5, Tigers 4 - Miguel Tejada had a double and drove in two runs to lead host Houston to victory, snapping Detroit’s seven-game winning streak.

Rangers 12, Padres 2 - David Murphy and Hank Blalock homered to pace a suddenly resurgent Texas offense and Kevin Millwood won his fifth straight decision at home, defeating San Diego.

Brewers 5, Giants 1 - Yovani Gallardo outdueled Matt Cain and Ryan Braun drove in a pair of runs, lifting host Milwaukee over San Francisco.

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