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Soriano's spring derailed slightly by finger fracture
By Bruce Miles | Daily Herald Staff

Alfonso Soriano suffered a fracture of the right middle finger Sunday morning while taking flyball drills.


Ed Lee | Staff Photographer

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Published: 3/3/2008 12:01 AM

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MESA, Ariz. -- The Cubs say the break in Alfonso Soriano's finger isn't as bad as it could have been.

The left fielder suffered a "non-displaced" fracture of the right middle finger Sunday morning while taking flyball drills. The Cubs say he'll miss 3-5 days, although manager Lou Piniella said it would be closer to five.

Soriano, a right-handed batter and thrower, normally catches the ball with one hand, but he injured the finger while attempting a two-handed catch.

He seemed more exasperated with himself than worried.

"It's not bad; it's two or three days," he said. "It's OK."

The Cubs say they want to prevent any swelling in the finger, so Soriano won't throw or bat for the next few days. He will be able to keep up his conditioning work.

Soriano had the finger X-rayed and returned to camp wearing a splint and a bandage.

Leg problems hampered Soriano last season.

Lilly OK: Lefty Ted Lilly made his spring debut in Sunday's 8-6 loss to the Giants. He worked 2 innings.

"I thought it went OK," he said. "I didn't walk as many people (one) as I thought I was going to. I think I got away with a few, too. I used just about all my pitches, so I think that's more of what I was trying to do.

"After not pitching in a game, sometimes you don't know really what to expect as far as command and feel and everything like that."

Ramirez update: Lou Piniella said third baseman Aramis Ramirez may be able to make his Cactus League debut Tuesday against the Brewers. Ramirez has been out with a sore right shoulder.

"He's getting closer," Piniella said. "We've got this trip to Tucson coming up (Wednesday). We'll see. I think he's getting close, and I wouldn't be surprised that by Tuesday we can get him a few at-bats."

Piniella added that infielder outfielder Daryle Ward (glute muscle) also could be ready Tuesday or Wednesday.

Giants 8, Cubs 6

Cubs' record: 1-3

At the plate: Felix Pie hit his second homer of the spring, a solo shot to right field in the fifth inning. Eric Patterson, batting leadoff, had a bunt single and a double.

On the mound: Ted Lilly worked 2 innings, giving up 2 hits and 1 run. He walked one, struck out two and hit a batter. Lilly threw 30 pitches, 17 strikes. Neal Cotts (0-1) got rocked for 5 runs and 3 hits in two-thirds of an inning. Closer candidate Carlos Marmol pitched his second 1-2-3 inning of the spring.

In the field: The Giants stole 6 bases against the Cubs' defense, including 3 by Eugenio Velez.

Next: The Cubs travel to Peoria to play the Seattle Mariners. Jon Lieber pitches for the Cubs against Jarrod Washburn.

-- Bruce Miles