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Published: Monday, 6/22/2009

Tribe loses in less dramatic fashion


CHICAGO - His nerves frayed and his stomach twisting like a wicked curve, Randy Wells couldn't bear to watch, so he stayed in the weight room.

Finally, with one out left, he came back out. Then, he got the shaving-cream treatment. And the beer shower.

His first major league win certainly was something to see.

Wells pitched into the seventh inning, Geovany Soto homered and Jake Fox drove in three runs to lead the Chicago Cubs to a routine 6-2 victory over the Cleveland Indians and their fourth straight win.

Derrek Lee extended his hitting streak to 18 games with an RBI single, tying a career high, and the Cubs cruised to an easy win after taking the previous three in their final at-bat.

This time, they didn't need any late excitement to send the Indians to their season-high sixth straight loss.

Back-to-back extra-inning wins gave way to this: The Cubs taking control early after rallying Friday and Saturday and finally giving Wells (1-3) the support he needed.

"It was pretty nerve-racking," he said. "I tried to stay in the weight room for most of it. I wanted to be out there for the last out."

Soto got things started when he gave the Cubs a 1-0 lead in the second with his fifth homer. Fox drove in Ryan Theriot with a sacrifice fly in the fourth and capped a four-run fifth with a two-run, bases-loaded double against Jeremy Sowers (1-5), sucking the drama out of this one.

Wells allowed two runs and five hits in 62/3 innings. He left to a loud ovation with a 6-1 lead after getting knocked out in the fourth against Minnesota nine days earlier. He finally has a win after posting a 2.55 ERA in his first seven starts following his call-up from Triple-A Iowa last month.

Gregg preserved the win after things got a little tense in the ninth.

He came on with runners on first and third and one out and threw a wild pitch before striking out Ben Francisco and retiring Trevor Crowe on a grounder for his 11th save in 13 chances.

Wells led off the fifth with a single and scored from third with one out on a bases-loaded single by Lee, who has now reached base in 28 consecutive games. Sowers then walked Soto to force in another run, and Fox chased him with a double off the center-field wall that made it 6-0.

That ended a brutal day for the lefty, who allowed seven hits and six runs and is now 0-3 in five starts since being recalled from Triple-A Columbus. He even blamed his meltdown in the fifth on his inning-ending groundout in the top half.

"Obviously I won't have to deal with hitting or any of that stuff anymore, which if you've never done it before is quite an exhausting experience," he said. "As embarrassing as it sounds, when you hit a ball and run to first base, it gets to you a little bit. It's pathetic because it's a 30-yard sprint."

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