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Left knee still bothering Soriano
By Bruce Miles | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 5/29/2009 6:07 PM

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Left fielder Alfonso Soriano was limping noticeably around the clubhouse Friday, with his left knee wrapped in ice.

Before the Cubs' 2-1 victory over the Dodgers, manager Lou Piniella sounded concerned.

"His knee's bothering him some," Piniella said. "The trainer hasn't told me he can't play. Soriano's a tough kid. He wants to play. If it persists, we might have to get him out of there for a few days."

Soriano will hear none of it.

"Monday," he said, referring to the upcoming off-day. "I don't like days off."

Soriano said he first hurt the knee last month when he hit the Wrigley Field wall chasing a homer by the Reds' Joey Votto.

"I feel like maybe three or four more days, getting treatment and ice," he said. "It's getting better."

Soriano has not homered since May 17. He's batting .253 with 12 homers and an on-base percentage of only .312.

Making the most: Recent call-up Jake Fox has a double and 2 singles in his 3 games. He drove in a run Wednesday against the Pirates. On Thursday, he had a single but also struck out to end the game.

He hit a pinch single and scored the game-winning run Friday.

"That's all you can ask for, especially when you're coming in late in the game like that," Fox said. "You know you're going to be coming in at a pretty crucial time. I love action. That's why you're here."

Don't expect Fox to see too much action yet in the field. The Cubs aren't comfortable with that idea yet. Fox played third base late Thursday and had a bit of trouble firing a relay to second on a double-play grounder on which the Cubs got one out.

"The problem with Fox is, where do I put him?" asked Lou Piniella. "Where do I put the kid? He's out there working right now at third base. You saw the feed yesterday to our second baseman. I would love to get him in the lineup. The kid can swing the bat. I recognize that. Let's just see what plays itself out there."

All's Wells: Lou Piniella says he's impressed by rookie right-hander Randy Wells.

"Wells has pitched excellent," Piniella said. "He's pitched four excellent games. He doesn't have a win yet. If he continues to pitch like that, he's going to win a lot of ballgames. He pitches quick. The ratio of strikes to balls is good. He throws three different pitches over the plate. I couldn't be more pleased with the way he's performed."

Wells is 0-2 since coming up from Class AAA Iowa, but he has a 1.80 ERA in 4 starts. He's allowed 22 hits and 7 walks (with 23 strikeouts) in 25 innings pitched for a WHIP (walks plus hits per 1 inning pitched) of 1.16. Ted Lilly is tops among the starters in WHIP at 1.09.

Rotaton plans: Lou Piniella said the Cubs will start Randy Wells Tuesday, Ted Lilly Wednesday, and Carlos Zambrano next Thursday in Atlanta.