Theriot's slam sends Cubs past Marlins
Ryan Theriot so enjoyed his first career grand slam that he'd like to show off his power a little more often.
Theriot, a slap-hitting shortstop who specializes in opposite-field singles, took manager Lou Piniella's advice to pull the ball when there are men on base. The result: He helped the Chicago Cubs rally for an 8-6 victory over the Florida Marlins on Friday.
"Lou and I did have a discussion about it (last week)," said Theriot, who has eight homers in 1,351 career at-bats. "He sees me working out. He said I was plenty strong enough to do it so why don't I do it? It's cool. I'd like to hit a few every now and then."
Told of Theriot's comments, teammate Derrek Lee rolled his eyes and smiled.
"Yeah, we're going to have to hear about that the rest of the year," said Lee, who has 259 career homers. "He told me I can't tell him anything now because he's a home run hitter."
Well, not really. Theriot is batting .310 this season after hitting .307 in 2008 because he doesn't pretend he's something he's not.
"You don't want to lead the league in singles, but your game is what it is," Theriot said. "There's really not much you can do at this point to change. My role on this team is to get on base."
His two-out shot off of Burke Badenhop that landed in the second row of the left-field bleachers, gave the Cubs a 6-5 lead and quickly changed the mood at Wrigley Field from angry to giddy.
The Cubs had lost seven of their previous nine games and fans had spent much of the day booing starter Rich Harden and slumping hitters such as $30 million newcomer Milton Bradley.
Harden allowed five runs and six hits with four walks in 3 2-3 innings. Three of his walks came in the fourth, when he also forced in a run by hitting Jorge Cantu with a pitch to put the Cubs behind 5-1.
It appeared Graham Taylor might be the first Marlins starter in two weeks to earn a victory when he turned a 5-2 lead over to his bullpen to begin the sixth.
But Hayden Penn issued a one-out walk to Aaron Miles and gave up a single to Mike Fontenot before leaving with a sprained ankle. Badenhop (1-1) walked Alfonso Soriano with two outs to load the bases, setting the stage for Theriot.
"The first pitch to Theriot was a good strike but the next one was almost the same pitch and he jumped on it," Badenhop said.
The Cubs made it 8-5 in the seventh on Geovany Soto's RBI single and Fontenot's sacrifice fly. Soto, Lee and Reed Johnson had two hits each; they entered the game in a combined 0-for-30 slump.
"Everybody is dangerous in that lineup," Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "They haven't started swinging the bats."
Cantu drove in two runs, giving him 12 RBIs in his last four games, but he struck out with two on to end the eighth. Carlos Marmol struck out the side after walking the first two batters.
Kevin Gregg gave up a ninth-inning run before getting Hanley Ramirez to fly out for his second save of the year.
Rookie David Patton (1-1) worked two scoreless innings to earn his first career victory.
Ramirez, who had been out of Florida's lineup since Tuesday with a sore wrist, entered in a seventh-inning double-switch and walked leading off the eighth. ... After missing a week with a calf injury, Cubs 3B Aramis Ramirez flew out as a pinch hitter in the seventh. ... Marlins utilityman Alfredo Almezaga made three spectacular diving plays, two while playing shortstop and one at third. ... The Cubs are 11-1 when scoring four or more runs, 0-10 when scoring three or fewer.