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SD@CHC: Soriano homers, collects three RBIs in win

CHICAGO -- The wind on Monday afternoon at Wrigley Field was blowing 24 miles per hour out to dead center, with gusts up to 35 mph.

There was no way to measure the sigh of relief coming from the Cubs' clubhouse after the game, but you can bet it was about that strong.

Left fielder Alfonso Soriano hit a go-ahead two-run home run in the sixth inning as the Cubs put on their most impressive offensive performance of the season, snapping their 12-game losing streak in an 11-7 win over the Padres.

Cubs manager Dale Sveum admitted the victory wasn't just one in a 162-game season.

"Let's not kid yourself. You lose 12 in a row and you finally win ... it's a big relief for all them guys," Sveum said. "It's tough. It shows you sometimes how tough it is to win a Major League Baseball game. To lose 12 in a row -- hopefully something like that gets everything going."

Soriano finished with three hits and drove in three of the Cubs' season-high 11 runs, while Bryan LaHair also had three hits in his first multihit game since May 14.

Ian Stewart and Starlin Castro each hit two-run home runs -- with Castro's being his second homer in as many days -- as the Cubs broke what was tied for the third-longest losing streak in franchise history.

"It's hard to describe what a losing streak like that feels like," Stewart said. "It's almost like when you're hitting and you're not going good, it's like you don't want to hit. To an extent, it feels like you're just going to lose. You're going to keep losing and it's tough, but today was a big day for us. A lot of guys broke out, and hopefully that continues."

With the windy conditions on the city's north side, it was almost a given that something crazy would happen. After all, not only did the Cubs enter losers of 12 straight, but the Padres came to Chicago scoreless in their last 26 innings.

By the time the game was over, two of the National League's worst offenses hit four home runs each -- a season-high for both teams. According to Stats, Inc., the eight combined homers were the most at Wrigley Field since the Reds (seven) and Cubs (two) hit nine on July 4, 2010.

"I've been here long enough to know, with a day like this, there will be some runs scored," Padres manager Bud Black said. "Eight home runs? That's not surprising."

The Padres and Cubs traded blows in the fourth inning, when San Diego went ahead, 4-3, in the top of the inning on solo home runs by Chase Headley and Everth Cabrera. LaHair and Soriano answered in the bottom of the fourth with consecutive doubles before Stewart hit a two-run homer to put the Cubs back on top.

San Diego tied the game in the top of the fifth on another home run by Headley, this time a two-run shot, and took the lead on Will Venable's RBI double in the sixth before Soriano's go-ahead home run off left-hander Alex Hinshaw (0-1).

The Cubs added three more runs in the seventh on a two-run homer by Castro and an RBI single by Stewart.

Right-hander Randy Wells (1-1) earned the win, as the Cubs' bullpen allowed only one run in four innings.

"The bullpen, with the way the wind was blowing there ... that's exceptional to just give up one run in four innings," Sveum said.

Although the clubs combined for eight total home runs, the game's first three runs scored via small ball.

The Padres broke their 26-inning scoring drought in the first when Carlos Quentin doubled in his first at-bat of the season to score Chris Denorfia, who had drawn a one-out walk.

Cubs right fielder David DeJesus tripled to lead off the bottom of the inning and scored on a single up the middle by Castro. After Castro stole second, Joe Mather sacrificed him to third and the Cubs' shortstop later scored on a groundout.

Cubs second baseman Darwin Barney and Venable hit solo home runs in the second and third, respectively.

With their losing streak over and the clubhouse in better spirits, the Cubs will look to win consecutive games on Tuesday for the first time since May 13-14.

"We lost [12] in a row, but now it's in the past, so now we have to try to win 10 in a row," Soriano said. "We've got to turn around, because I believe in this team because we're not that bad. So I think that we just have to go play more relaxed and smiling and have fun."

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