Theriot's hits power Cubs past Marlins
Lilly strikes out 10, walks none, doubles in two runs
CHICAGO -- Milton Bradley was wearing a purple LSU football jersey after Saturday's game. The other Cubs may soon be sporting the same look if Ryan Theriot keeps up his hot hitting.
One day after belting his first career grand slam, Theriot hit a two-run homer and a triple and Derrek Lee added a solo home run to back Ted Lilly and power the Cubs to a 6-1 win over the Florida Marlins.
Lilly (3-2) struck out 10 and helped himself by hitting a two-run double. The lefty gave up five hits, including Cody Ross' solo homer in the fifth. It's the first time the Cubs have won back-to-back games since winning three in a row April 17-18 and April 21.
Theriot was the offensive hero, which is why Bradley was wearing LSU's colors. The deal was, if Theriot homered for a second day, something he had never done in the big leagues, Bradley had to wear the shirt. And they both kept their end of the deal.
"He's on a power streak," Lee said of the Cubs' shortstop. "I told him before the game they come in bunches, and sure enough, he hit one out of here."
Lee and Theriot are now tied at two home runs each. Lee felt a little pressure -- he can't have Theriot with more homers.
"Exactly," Lee said, laughing.
Alfonso Soriano singled to lead off the Chicago first and Theriot followed with his shot into the left-field bleachers. Remember, Theriot's single-season home run high is three. He's nearly there. Kosuke Fukudome then walked and scored two outs later on Mike Fontenot's single.
When Theriot returned to the dugout, Lou Piniella gave him a high five, but his teammates gave him the silent treatment and ignored him for a bit before offering congratulatory handshakes and hugs.
"I was just trying to drive it," Theriot said. "I got a pitch up in the zone, and it went out."
Theriot's home run on Friday ended a string of 620 homerless at-bats.
"Thanks for reminding me of that," Theriot said. "You never actually go up there trying to do it. Sometimes it happens; sometimes it doesn't. I'm just glad it came when it did. Was it weird that it happened? Yeah, probably. We'll see. Hopefully, it'll continue."
According to Elias Sports Bureau, the last player to have a longer homerless streak broken by going deep in consecutive games was another Cubs player, Gene Clines. He had gone 1,079 at-bats without a homer before connecting on May 16-17, 1977, against San Diego. There was even a chance for Theriot to hit for the cycle after he tripled with two outs in the second.
"My thought was, he's got the two hardest things out of the way, especially the triple," Piniella said. "He didn't get any other hits, did he? I think we'll settle for a home run and triple."
Theriot, who went 2-for-5, is batting .315. He had multi-homer games in college, but this recent power surge is unexpected. And no, he wasn't thinking cycle.
"[Ryan Dempster] told me anybody can get two hits, so I was just trying to get another hit, so I could talk trash to him," Theriot said. "You don't think about the cycle situation. That's a real special thing."
The Cubs got some offense from another unlikely source in the Chicago third. Anibal Sanchez (1-3) chose to intentionally walk Aaron Miles with Micah Hoffpauir at third and two outs to face Lilly, and the pitcher doubled off the right-field wall to open a 5-0 lead.
Lee, booed in his previous at-bat in the second when he struck out with two on and two outs, had the crowd of 40,083 cheering in the fourth when he launched a ball onto Waveland Avenue over the left-field bleachers with two outs for his second homer.
Lee now is batting .108 on the road, and .289 at Wrigley Field.
"Hopefully, it continues and I can take it out on the road," Lee said.
For two games, the Cubs offense has kicked in, posting double-digit hits. Piniella wants to see what happens on the third day.
"It's good to put two good games together," Piniella said. "You need consistency over a period of eight to 10 games. Let's hope this is the start of us swinging the bats and putting some runs on the board."
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.