CHICAGO – After striking out three times earlier in the game, Alfonso Soriano hit a two-run homer in the eighth inning Friday, rallying the Chicago Cubs to an 8-7 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals.

It was the second game-winning homer in a week for Soriano, who sent Chris Perez’s low 1-2 pitch into the left-field bleachers.

Soriano had struggled against St. Louis starter P.J. Walters, making his major-league debut in place of injured ace Chris Carpenter.

The Cardinals, losing for the second time in nine games, couldn’t score the tying run after Carlos Marmol walked Colby Rasmus and hit Albert Pujols with a pitch to start the ninth.

Ryan Ludwick, who had hit two home runs, struck out, and pinch-hitter Khalil Greene grounded into a game-ending double play.

AP-ES-04-17-09 1716EDT


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