Before Jim Edmonds was to join the Cubs party Thursday at Wrigley Field, his new teammates had a little fun Wednesday night at the expense of Padres ace Jake Peavy.
Alfonso Soriano and Geovany Soto homered and had three RBIs apiece in an 8-5 victory over the Padres while Ted Lilly outpitched Peavy for his fourth victory in his last five starts.
Ryan Dempster faces former teammate Greg Maddux in what could be Maddux's final appearance at Wrigley Field.
Edmonds, who officially signed after passing a physical Wednesday night, is expected to make his Cubs debut in center field Thursday, replacing Felix Pie on the roster.
"We'll put him out there to play, and we'll see what happens," manager Lou Piniella said.
The Cubs sent Pie to Triple-A Iowa after the game to make room for Edmonds, as well as for Pie to get his act together in the minors.
There may be another move in the offing as well. Outfielder Daryle Ward came up with a bad back Wednesday, and although Piniella said Ward wouldn't be placed on the disabled list "right now," he figures to go on it by the weekend.
The Cubs will bring up left-handed hitter Micah Hoffpauir to replace Ward. The 28-year-old first baseman currently is playing in right field at Iowa in preparation for a call-up.
With Lilly on track after a rough start to his season, the Cubs have a dependable threesome of starters in Lilly, Carlos Zambrano and Dempster. If they can get some consistency out of Jason Marquis and some innings out of Sean Gallagher, the future will look exceedingly bright.
Lilly (4-4) struck out the side in the first inning and had eight strikeouts after four before the Padres broke through with three runs in the fifth. He finished with 11 strikeouts, the most he has had since a 12-strikeout game with Toronto on June 10, 2006, in Detroit, and has posted back-to-back games of double-digit strikeouts for the first time in his career.
Over 36 innings in his last five starts, Lilly has allowed 11 runs on 23 hits while striking out 36 with a 3.09 earned-run average. In his first four starts, Lilly went 0-3 with a 9.16 ERA.
"Why has he been so good?" Piniella said. "He has been getting ahead of the hitters, changing speeds really, really well, and he's beginning to incorporate his good curveball into the scheme of things. He has picked up a little velocity. Yeah, he has pitched well."
For the second straight day, Soriano gave the Cubs the lead with one swing of the bat in the first inning, homering to left-center field for his 46th career leadoff home run. His two-run, bases-loaded single off Peavy in the second made it 3-0, and Soto delivered an RBI single in the fourth.
The Padres pulled within a run in the fifth on Tadahito Iguchi's two-run single and a wild pitch that scored Scott Hairston. Lilly got Brian Giles to look at a called third strike to strand the tying run on third.
Soto's two-run homer off Wilfredo Ledezma gave the Cubs breathing room in the fifth, and Aramis Ramirez and Reed Johnson added run-scoring doubles in the next two innings as the Cubs pulled away.
Carlos Marmol continue his masterful pitching, striking out the side in the seventh and pitching two perfect innings, extending his scoreless streak to 132/3 innings. Closer Kerry Wood finished it off, giving up a run on three hits as the Cubs' bullpen streak of scoreless innings ended at 19, 17 at home.
Cubs able to finish the job against Padres
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