CHICAGO (AP) — Derrek Lee and Geovany Soto hit consecutive homers to tie the game in a four-run eighth inning, then Alfonso Soriano singled home the winning run in the ninth to give the Chicago Cubs a 6-5 victory over the White Sox on Thursday.
The crosstown rivals split a rain-shortened, two-game set at Wrigley Field. Their all-time interleague series is tied 34-all.
Pinch-hitter Reed Johnson started the ninth with a single, moved up on a sacrifice and scored on Soriano's two-out single to right-center off Matt Thornton (4-2). Soriano was 14 for 102 before singling in his final two at-bats.
Kevin Gregg (1-1) got the win with a scoreless ninth.
With the Cubs trailing 5-1, Lee hit a three-run homer in the eighth. Soto followed with a solo shot off Scott Linebrink to tie the score and send the crowd into a frenzy. All four runs were unearned after an error on second baseman Chris Getz.
Alexei Ramirez's two-run homer in the seventh off Carlos Zambrano gave the White Sox a 3-1 lead. They tacked on two more in the eighth off Carlos Marmol on an RBI double by Getz and a run-scoring single by Gordon Beckham.
But Linebrink couldn't hold the four-run lead. Getz made his second error of the game on pinch-hitter Micah Hoffpauir's leadoff grounder. After Soriano singled, Linebrink got Ryan Theriot to pop out and struck out Milton Bradley.
But Lee's drive to right-center just cleared the fence for his eighth homer and made it 5-4. Soto then hit a 1-1 pitch to left-center for his fourth homer as the Cubs' stagnant offense finally showed some life.
White Sox starter Gavin Floyd gave up just one run and four hits in seven innings, leaving with a 5-1 lead.
Zambrano, making his first start at Wrigley Field since a May 27 meltdown that led to a six-game suspension, gave up six hits and three runs in seven innings.
The White Sox took a 1-0 lead in the sixth when Brian Anderson foiled some Cubs strategy. After Jermaine Dye doubled, the Cubs elected to intentionally walk A.J. Pierzynski with two outs, but Anderson delivered an RBI single.
The Cubs came right back in the bottom half to tie it on Lee's RBI grounder.
Zambrano was making his first home start since his outburst during a game against the Pirates. After he was ejected for arguing with umpire Mark Carlson over a play at the plate, Zambrano gave Carlson the ejection sign, fired a ball into left field, slammed his glove into a dugout fence and took a bat to a dugout drink dispenser before heading to the clubhouse.
Zambrano kept his composure Thursday, showing just a glimpse of emotion when he struck out in the fifth by angrily exchanging the bat from one hand to the other.
NOTES: Soto had his first career stolen base in the fourth. ... Cubs OF Kosuke Fukudome is in an 0-for-22 slide.
by the associated press