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Mixed bag of injury news for victorious Cubs
By Bruce MIles | Daily Herald Staff

Chicago Cubs' Alsonso Soriano, middle, celebrates his home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks with Ryan Theriot, left, and Aaron Miles in the third inning Tuesday


Associated Press

Chicago Cubs' Carlos Zambrano throws against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the first inning Tuesday.


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Published: 4/28/2009 11:45 PM | Updated: 4/28/2009 11:50 PM

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The Cubs got one of their injured players back Tuesday, and for one night, there was no lamenting who else was missing.

Milton Bradley, who has been out the better part of 21/2 weeks with a strained right groin, started for the first time since April 22, and he was only a bit player as the rest of the offense routed Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Yusmeiro Petit on the way to a 11-3 victory at Chase Field.

The Cubs busted the game open in the middle innings, scoring 3 runs in the third and 4 in the fourth, when they sent 10 men to the plate.

Alfonso Soriano keyed the third with a 3-run homer, his second home run in two nights. Mike Fontenot also homered for the second time in two games as he added a 2-run shot in the fourth.

Cubs manager Lou Piniella presented the media in Phoenix with a mixed bag of injury news before the game.

Third baseman Aramis Ramirez had a down day with his strained left calf, and if it isn't better by the time the Cubs return home Thursday night, Ramirez may have to go on the disabled list.

"Ramirez was out here early to run, but he couldn't accelerate at all," Piniella told reporters. "The plan is for it to try it again Thursday, and if it isn't better, we'll have to weigh all our options."

First baseman Derrek Lee, who has a bulging disc in his neck that led to spasms, told writers he could play, but Piniella decided to hold him out at least one more game. It's possible Lee could go in this afternoon's series finale.

The Cubs got things going in the third, with the bottom of the order setting the table for Soriano. Aaron Miles singled with one out, and pitcher Carlos Zambrano picked up the first of his 3 hits with a single. Soriano followed with a homer to left-center, his seventh.

After the Cubs chased Petit with their 4-spot in the fourth, Zambrano hit an RBI double in the fourth, and he came home on Soriano's single.

Backup catcher Koyie Hill singled home a run in the sixth, and Zambrano led off the seventh with his first homer of the season and the 17th of his career.

On the mound, Zambrano worked 7 innings, giving up 8 hits and 3 runs while walking two and striking out three.

Bruce Miles' game tracker

Big Z's milestone: When Carlos Zambrano struck out Chris Young in the second inning, he became the seventh pitcher to reach 1,200 strikeouts with the Cubs. Fergie Jenkins is the all-time team leader, with 2,038.

Big Z's hitting: Zambrano singled in the third inning, hit an RBI double in the fifth and led off the seventh with a homer to left-center. It was Zambrano's first homer of the year and the 17th of his career. He is the Cubs' all-time leader in home runs among pitchers.

Mr. OBP: Kosuke Fukudome moved back to center field with the return of Milton Bradley to the lineup. Fukudome, who entered the game with an on-base percentage of .457, walked, singled and walked twice more in his 4 plate appearances.

Geo who? Backup catcher Koyie Hill made the most of his start as slumping Geovany Soto got a rest. Hill struck out his first time up but followed that with singles in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings.