Mike Fontenot was standing at the batting cage before Thursday night's game at PNC Park when Alfonso Soriano put his mouth over the second baseman's cap and pretended he was eating him.
Fontenot and Geovany Soto subsequently poked two-run homers off Pittsburgh veteran Matt Morris (0-1) during a five-run sixth inning as the Cubs posted a 7-3 comeback victory, sweeping the series and extending their winning streak to five.
"Everyone came out and did a little piece to win today, and especially Geo had a great game," Fontenot said.
"But I definitely might have to get 'Sori' to do his thing, eat a little bit off my head, and we can have games like that every day."
Well, whatever works.
The Cubs are on a roll, and everyone seems to be doing their part.
Soto went 4-for-5, Derrek Lee added a pair of RBIs and Jon Lieber (2-1) notched the victory in relief of Rich Hill, throwing 41/3 scoreless innings.
"Lieber saved the night for us," manager Lou Piniella said.
Hill was yanked after only three innings and 72 pitches with the Cubs trailing 3-1. He looked tentative in the first inning, throwing 30 pitches and giving up three runs on three hits and a pair of walks.
"We have to get that straightened out," Piniella said. "I think in the first inning he was aiming the ball."
Hill conceded he deserved to be pulled but expressed no worry.
"That's no indication of who I am as a pitcher," he said. "It's something I have to go through.
"It's over and I'm looking forward to the next start."
But Piniella said he would talk to pitching coach Larry Rothschild about what to do with Hill. With Lieber pitching well and left-hander Sean Marshall on board, the Cubs have other options if they decide to let Hill work out his problems in the bullpen.
The Cubs trailed 3-2 in the sixth when Morris walked Kosuke Fukudome to start the inning.
Soto then hammered a 400-foot, two-run shot over the center-field fence to put the Cubs ahead and Reed Johnson added an RBI single before Fontenot's two-run shot made it 7-3.
Soto knows his main role is to handle the pitchers, but he went 8-for-17 in this series to help carry the offensive load.
"We have D-Lee, we have Soriano, 'Rami' ( Aramis Ramirez) and Fukudome, and all those guys are going to drive in runs," Soto said. "It's a plus when everyone else gets on base for those guys. I just want to contribute."
The sweep was sweet for obvious reasons, especially considering the Cubs could have lost two of the three games.
"It seems like we kind of tried to let them win the [first] two games," Lee said, referring to the blown seven-run lead Monday and two blown leads Wednesday night. "But we found ways to do it, which is huge, because those games easily could have gone the other way.
"We kept grinding and grinding and came out with 'W's. We could be looking at a horrible road trip right now, but we found ways to scratch it out and I think that's going to help us down the line.
"Last year at this time we found ways to lose. This [series] we have found ways to win. The [extra-inning games] might have taken longer than we would have liked, but we got it done."Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun