Cubs blow another lead but beat Mariners in 11
BY GORDON WITTENMYER firstname.lastname@example.org June 29, 2013 10:14PM
Updated: June 30, 2013 12:07AM
SEATTLE — The bullpen blew another one, but oft-maligned Alfonso Soriano delivered a game-winning, two-run homer for the Cubs in the 11th inning to beat the Seattle Mariners 5-3 on Saturday at Safeco Field.
Soriano, whose playing time in the second half of the season was called into question by manager Dale Sveum on Friday, has gone 5-for-9 with two homers and four RBI as the Cubs’ DH since then.
He also delivered a go-ahead single with two outs in the sixth on Saturday.
Rookie Blake Parker, whom Sveum said could get closing opportunities if Kevin Gregg is traded next month, earned his first career save with a perfect 11th.
Gregg was perfect in 12 save chances before the ninth on Saturday. He began the Mariners’ rally with one out by walking 41-year-old, last-resort pinch hitter Henry Blanco, whose last baseball headline involved getting released by the Toronto Blue Jays this month.
After a grounder to first moved pinch runner Michael Saunders to second, Endy Chavez snapped a 0-for-19 skid with a game-tying single up the middle.
The Mariners were 0-34 when trailing after seven innings before they came back Friday to tie in the eighth and win in the 10th.
It was the third time Jeff Samardzija has lost a win because of a blown save.
The right-hander pitched seven strong innings, retiring 16 of the final 19 he faced to hand a 3-2 lead to the pen.
Starlin Castro, who is 6-for-19 in four games since his first day off since 2011, homered in the first. He also ended a first-and-third threat in the 10th with a grounder to short.
The Cubs regained the lead in the sixth on a one-out double by Luis Valbuena and back-to-back, two-out, RBI singles by Nate Schierholtz and Soriano.
Cubs center fielder Ryan Sweeney left the game in the fourth after hurting his ribs crashing into the wall to make a catch in the third. The severity of the injury was not immediately known.