Cubs fall in final regular-season game

Cubs drop regular-season finale

CINCINNATI -- Alfonso Soriano went 3-for-3, including a leadoff homer, his seventh this month, and a two-run single, but it wasn't enough as the Reds beat the Cubs in Sunday's regular-season finale, 8-4.

The Cubs inserted players the way they would in a Spring Training game rather than a regular-season contest. Ted Lilly started, but was pulled after two scoreless and hitless innings. It was his final tuneup for the National League Central champs before the NL Division Series. The left-hander is slated to start Game 2 on Thursday.

Cubs manager Lou Piniella wanted the relievers to get some work before the NLDS begins on Wednesday.

The Cubs opened a 4-0 lead. Soriano notched his 12th leadoff homer of the season when he launched a 1-0 pitch from Cincinnati's Homer Bailey (4-2) into the left-field seats at Great American Ball Park. He finished with 14 homers in September, a club record for the month. Ernie Banks hit 13 in September 1957.

Soriano went 3-for-3 in the game, adding a two-run single in the second, and Jacque Jones hit an RBI double in the third.

But the Reds tied the game at 4 against Jason Marquis, who gave up four runs on four hits and one walk over two-thirds of an inning.

Cincinnati's Joey Votto hit a three-run homer off Ryan Dempster (2-7) in a four-run fourth.

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.