Diamondbacks get off to shaky start after break
Soriano homered twice, doubled twice and had five RBIs as the Cubs beat Kennedy and the Arizona Diamondbacks 8-1 on Friday after a lengthy rain delay before the game.
Kennedy (6-8) gave up seven hits - including both of Soriano's homers - and six runs in five-plus innings, hitting a batter, walking two and throwing two wild pitches.
"I didn't pitch very good," Kennedy said. "You want to start off good after the All-Star break. That's not how you should pitch in order to win a game."
After a breakout campaign in 2011 in which Kennedy went 21-4 with a 2.88 ERA, he has shown flashes of brilliance, but struggled with consistency.
Although he hadn't pitched in eight days and was thrown off by the 3-hour and 40-minute rain delay, Kennedy wasn't making excuses.
"It's really frustrating, that's all I can tell you," he said. "I feel good one outing, and I don't know what happens. It's two completely different people."
Even though it wasn't raining at the time, the Cubs held up the start of the game after radar showed a big storm coming toward Wrigley Field. When it finally arrived, the deluge soaked the warning tracks and bullpens on either side of the field, creating ankle-deep water in some spots.
The slick conditions took a toll on Arizona leftfielder Jason Kubel, who was taken out in the bottom of the seventh with tightness in his right hamstring.
"I had a little slip in the second inning," said Kubel, who called the move to come out of the game "precautionary."
"I was hoping as the game went on it would loosen up and get better, but it got worse and worse," he said, adding that was he not sure he would be able to play Saturday.
Soriano launched his 16th homer leading off the fourth, a shot to left that cleared the bleachers and put the Cubs up 2-1. And with two outs and two on the fifth, he hit a high drive that landed over the fence in center to make it 5-1.
It was Soriano's s second multi-homer game this season and 30th of his career. The 36-year-old slugger has hit all of his 17 homers this season since May 15. His five RBIs tied a career high.
"Oh man," Soriano said. "I swung very good today. Those four days I cleared my mind and my body, too. The game I had, I hope I have a couple of more like that."
Paul Maholm (7-6) allowed six hits and a run in seven innings to win his third straight start. He drove in a run with a bunt in the sixth inning.
"You just deal with rain delays," Maholm said. "I get ready as though the game is starting on time. I came out today to start long tossing and they said they were going to delay it 20 minutes and it turned into four hours. It's a little different because you never know when it's going to stop."
The Diamondbacks came out ready to go as Willie Bloomquist led off with a double and Aaron Hill beat out a bunt single. Bloomquist scored on Justin Upton's double play grounder, the first of two double plays turned by the Cubs in the first two innings.
Kennedy's wildness helped Chicago tie it in the second. Soriano led off with a double, reached third on a fly and scored on Kennedy's wild pitch.
"(Kennedy) was unable to throw his fastball, and his secondary pitches, which he threw well last year when he got behind in the count, he's not able to locate them," Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said. "He's a different pitcher right now."
Notes: The Cubs have won 10 of their last 14. ... Diamondbacks RHP Daniel Hudson had successful Tommy John surgery on Monday in Los Angeles. It was performed by Dr. Lewis Yocum. ... Cubs 3B Ian Stewart had surgery on his left wrist Tuesday in Cleveland. The team will determine in August if he will play again this season. .., Arizona RHP Josh Collmenter will move back to bullpen with LHP Joe Saunders (left shoulder strain) returning to start Saturday after coming off the DL. ... Announced attendance was 36,878.
Updated July 13, 2012