CHICAGO (AP) Showered by boos as he trotted off the field, Alfonso Soriano wasn’t about to lash out at fans. The way he sees it, that’s their right, and he’s not exactly helping his cause.
“They can do whatever they want,” Soriano said.
An inning after Soriano was pulled out of left field in a double-switch, the Cubs rallied. Kosuke Fukudome and Ryan Theriot each hit two-run singles with two outs in the eighth inning, and Chicago beat the Milwaukee Brewers 7-6 on Wednesday.
Soriano had another rough day in the field, bobbling Rickie Weeks’ two-run double down the line in the fifth and allowing Corey Hart’s RBI double off the wall to carom by him in the seventh. That made it 4-2 and chased starter Randy Wells.
One batter later, Soriano got yanked for Tyler Colvin and heard it from the crowd as he left in a move that also saw James Russell replace Justin Berg on the mound.
“Like I said before, that’s not bothering me,” Soriano said. “Let me come back tomorrow and work hard to try and do my job. They can do whatever they want because they pay the money to do what they want. That means nothing.”
While Soriano shrugged off the boos, Theriot rushed to his defense.
“I think if they knew him, they wouldn’t do it,” Theriot said. “This is a guy that is the ultimate professional. He’s here early and he works as hard as anybody else. He really, really works hard. There were some tough balls. Listen, that’s bricks out there. That ball’s hitting bricks and it’s really hard to play that carom. … I love having him as a teammate.”
Soriano’s latest misadventures came after manager Lou Piniella tried to give him a confidence boost.
“Look, I love this guy to death, I really do,” Piniella said before the game. “I want to see Sori do well. He’s a good young man, he works hard. He’s had such a great career, and you want to see that continue.”
What he doesn’t want to see is Soriano dropping a fly, as he did Sunday in Cincinnati, or misplaying balls the way he did against Milwaukee. It would help if Soriano started producing at the plate, and to that end, his second-inning double was a good start.
Theriot had four hits, Fukudome drove in three runs and Geovany Soto hit his first homer.
Former Cub LaTroy Hawkins (0-1) retired the first two hitters in the eighth, but a single by Jeff Baker and walks to Soto and Colvin loaded the bases. Theriot singled and stole second, setting up Fukudome’s go-ahead hit.
“It is a concern of ours, giving up runs,” Hawkins said. “But it’s part of the game. Instead of giving up crooked numbers, we just got to give up that straight number. One run instead of two or three runs at a time.”
Jeff Gray (1-0) won despite giving up two runs in the eighth. Carlos Marmol struck out the side in the ninth for his third save, and sent the Brewers to their fourth loss in five games.
In the Milwaukee fifth, Carlos Gomez got nailed by center fielder Marlon Byrd trying to go from first to third on Alcides Escobar’s one-out single, but Wells walked pitcher Dave Bush.
Both runners came around when Weeks drove a 3-2 pitch down the left-field line. Soriano had trouble picking the ball up for his second error this season, allowing Weeks to reach third.
The Brewers got a solid effort by Bush, who allowed two runs and seven hits over six innings, but the bullpen struggled.
“We threw the ball good, got ahead of everybody, we just couldn’t finish anybody,” manager Ken Macha said.
NOTES: The Cubs held Derrek Lee out of the lineup because of inflammation in his right thumb. He is expected to play Thursday. … Chicago placed RHP Esmailin Caridad on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right forearm and recalled right-hander Jeff Gray from Triple-A Iowa. … Ted Lilly was expected to throw about 60 pitches Wednesday in a rehab start for Triple-A Iowa and will likely pitch for Double-A Tennessee before the Cubs activate him. He’s recovering from shoulder surgery and had been bothered by a sore back.