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Cubs go 14 to get the win, but Wells foiled again
By Bruce Miles | Daily Herald Staff

Ryan Theriot is congratulated by Derrek Lee after Theriot hit a solo home run off Cincinnati Reds pitcher Bronson Arroyo in the first inning Sunday.

 

Associated Press

Cubs pitcher Randy Wells slides safely into second as Cincinnati Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips is pulled off the bag by a wide throw.

 

Associated Press

Alfonso Soriano hits the game-winner off Cincinnati Reds pitcher Mike Lincoln in the 14th inning of Sunday's game.

 

Associated Press

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Published: 6/7/2009 5:44 PM | Updated: 6/7/2009 8:54 PM

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Bruce Miles' game tracker

Road Riot: Ryan Theriot's first-inning homer was his sixth of the year and the 13th of his career. It was Theriot's first career homer away from Wrigley Field.

RISP-y business: When Derrek Lee hit a 2-run single in the third inning, it snapped a Cubs 0-for-21 skid with runners in scoring position. But the trend continued Sunday, with the Cubs going 4-for-21 with runners in scoring position. The Cubs left 15 men on base.

First time: Reliever Jose Ascanio worked a big-league high 3 innings, holding the Reds at bay in the 10th, 11th and 12th innings. Angel Guzman worked the 14th for his first big-league save.

Randy Wells looks like a keeper.

Maybe the Cubs will get him a game ball to keep one of these days for his first major-league victory.

Wells turned in his fifth straight quality start Sunday, but once again he was left with a no-decision as the Cubs pulled out a 6-3 victory over the Cincinnati Reds in the 14th inning at the Great American Ball Park.

Cubs left fielder Alfonso Soriano, mired in a terrible slump, sparked a 3-run 14th when he led off with his 14th home run of the season.

"I had a tough three weeks, but I haven't lost confidence," Soriano told reporters in Cincinnati after going 1-for-6. He's 11-for-70 over his last 16 games. "I am just trying to stay healthy and play hard. I made a good swing and hit the ball hard."

The Cubs made a winner of rookie reliever David Patton (2-1). Angel Guzman, who is moving up the bullpen depth chart, earned his first major-league save by striking out the final two batters in the 14th.

Wells was the hard-luck story again, despite turning in his fifth straight quality start. He worked 62/3 innings, giving up 7 hits and 2 runs. He's 0-2 with an ERA of 1.86.

Setup man Carlos Marmol failed again, walking the only two batters he faced in the eighth before getting yanked by manager Lou Piniella.

Aaron Heilman came on and was tagged with a blown save after giving up a game-tying sacrifice fly. But the Cubs have to be concerned about Marmol, who has walked 27 batters in 27 innings.

The Cubs gave Wells a 1-0 lead in the first on a one-out homer by Ryan Theriot. The Reds scored once in the second before Derrek Lee hit a 2-run single in the third.

Wells gave up a run on Jerry Hairston's sacrifice fly in the seventh, giving way to lefty Jason Waddell.

Soriano led off the 14th with a homer to right-center against Mike Lincoln. The Cubs then got an RBI infield single by Mike Fontenot and a run-scoring double by Reed Johnson.

"Both teams squandered a bevy of opportunities," Piniella said. "We hung in there and made some plays and made some pitches."

• Pitcher Rich Harden was scratched from Sunday's rehab start for Class AAA Iowa because of a stomach virus.

Harden, who has been on the disabled list with a mid-back strain, was scheduled to start Friday's series opener at Wrigley Field against the Twins.

He's now is set to start Monday for Iowa, and his first start off the DL could come Saturday.