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Big inning starts and ends with Edmonds
By Bruce Miles | Daily Herald Staff

Jim Edmonds gets high fives from players after a second win against the Chicago White Sox Saturday. Edmonds had two solo home runs in the fourth inning.

 

George LeClaire | Staff Photographer

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Published: 6/22/2008 12:05 AM | Updated: 6/22/2008 12:24 AM

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The Cubs aren't just winning at Wrigley Field.

They're winning in every strange and wacky way possible.

How about the manager pinch hitting for a guy in the same inning the guy hits a home run?

Or how about Cubs fans bowing to -- bowing to! -- former Cardinal Jim Edmonds?

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Yeah, it's happening. And it's happening at the most happening place in town these days.

It all came together in the fourth inning of Saturday's 11-7 victory over the White Sox at Wrigley Field.

Once again, the Cubs fell behind. But they rallied for 9 runs in the fourth to erase a 4-1 deficit on their way to a second victory over the South Siders in two days. The Cubs also improved their home record to 31-8.

The Cubs sent 12 men to the plate in the inning, starting with Edmonds, who homered to left-center. Mike Fontenot stepped up next and made it back-to-back homers.

The ninth man to bat, Aramis Ramirez, hit a 3-run job. Edmonds came up again and homered one more time to left-center, as the Cubs tied a team record for home runs in one inning.

Next up was Fontenot. Oops, manager Lou Piniella pinch hit for him with Mark DeRosa, depriving Fontenot of a chance to hit 2 homers in one inning, a la Edmonds.

"You know, I didn't realize that," Piniella said. "I really didn't. I shouldn't have. I wouldn't have. I just didn't realize it. How about that? Those are those senior moments, I tell you."

Fontenot said being replaced didn't bother him. The Sox had just replaced starting pitcher Jose Contreras with lefty Boone Logan.

"No, I don't feel robbed at all," he said. "I've been there before when they bring a lefty in. I know what's going on. He just likes to get those matchups."

When the inning ended, Cubs fans in the crowd of 41,021 roared in approval, with Edmonds getting the royal treatment from the bleacher folk.

"It's always a strange feeling when you see people bowing to you," he said. "It's a good feeling. It's a great thing to be a part of, and I'm having a lot of fun."

He's also trying to feel like a Cub, despite people continually bringing up his St. Louis past.

"I played for the Angels, too," Edmonds protested. "Whenever you guys get done tying me to the Cardinals, it'll be fine, so I can start getting a little bit of Cubs history in my background."

Since signing with the Cubs in May, Edmonds is 23-for-74 (.311) with 4 homers and 16 RBI after a brutal beginning of the season with the San Diego Padres.

"It's getting better each day," he said. "I needed some time. It was a tough beginning of the season. I just needed some time to get my feet under me and get going. It's going better each day."

And it seems to be going better with the fans each day, too, as evidenced by the reception Edmonds got. Edmonds has been a part of two huge rivalries with the Cubs now.

His response to how they compare shows that indeed he is trying to put his time in a certain Missouri city in the rearview mirror.

"This is just like the one I was a part of the last couple years," he said of the rivalries, without mentioning St. Louis. "It's special. It definitely is. It's in the middle of the summer; it's just another series. But it's special. It's special for the media. It's special for the fans. The electricity in the stands, you can't beat it."