Thursday, June 17, 2010
Sports News

Dempster pitches Cubs to victory over Athletics

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[June 17, 2010]  CHICAGO (AP) -- Ryan Dempster pitched into the seventh inning for the win, Derrek Lee homered and the Chicago Cubs beat the Oakland Athletics 6-2 Wednesday night.

Alfonso Soriano and Starlin Castro had two RBIs each for the Cubs, who won for just the seventh time in their last 19 games.

Dempster (5-5) gave up eight hits and two runs, striking out seven in 6 2-3 innings.

A's starter Gio Gonzalez (6-5) surrendered eight hits and a season-high six runs in five innings.

Lee, in a 1-for-13 slump, led off the bottom of the second by lining his eighth homer of the season into the left-field bleachers, tying it at 1. Soriano walked one out later and moved to third on Geovany Soto's liner to center that was scored a double when Ryan Sweeney fell down fielding it. Castro followed with an RBI single to left and Soto was thrown out at the plate trying to score from second on a strong throw from Conor Jackson.


Castro hit a bases-loaded sacrifice fly to make it 3-1 in the fourth. It followed singles by Lee and Xavier Nady, a sacrifice bunt by Soriano -- his first ever for the Cubs -- and an intentional walk to Soto.

Nady had a two-out RBI single, a hard smash that went past third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff and made it 4-1 in the fifth, and Soriano followed with a two-run double down the right-field line.

The A's got a run in the first when Jackson, was acquired Tuesday from Arizona, and Daric Barton opened with back-to-back singles and Sweeney delivered a sacrifice fly. But with two runners still on, Dempster escaped the big inning by getting Kurt Suzuki to hit into a 1-4-3 double play.

Dempster, who had a baserunner in each of the first five innings, was backed by three nice defensive plays from third baseman Jeff Baker, one night after Chicago committed four errors in the series opener.

Barton had an RBI grounder in the seventh when Lee, who had two errors Tuesday night, made a nice stop to keep the ball from getting through for a single.

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NOTES: Cubs general manager Jim Hendry said before the game it's too early to plan whether the team will be subtracting or adding as the trade deadline approaches at the end of next month. "We're not 17 back, we're 7 1/2. I like to think these guys know the spot we're in," Hendry said. "You can't defend how we've played. We just have to fight our way out of it." ... A's OF Coco Crisp had his first rehab assignment at Triple-A Sacramento on Tuesday and went 2-for-3. Crisp, on the DL with a strained chest muscle, is on a 10-day program and will not be activated on the current roadtrip, manager Bob Geren said. ... Soriano's sacrifice bunt was his first since June 25, 2006, at Baltimore, while with Washington. ... Kouzmanoff had his 15-game hitting streak end, going 0 for 3.

[Associated Press; By RICK GANO]

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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