As Soriano ends drought, so do Cubs sluggers

As Soriano ends drought, so do Cubs sluggers

As Soriano ends drought, so do Cubs sluggers
CHICAGO -- Bryan LaHair ended the Cubs homerless drought at nine games with a solo shot in the ninth inning Tuesday night, but Alfonso Soriano's three-hit game may have had a bigger impact on a 3-2 victory.

Soriano, 36, may be over his slump after hitting the game-winner with a clutch RBI single in the 10th. He ended an 0-for-14 skid with another single in the second, then doubled in the fourth for his first extra-base hit of the season.

"I know he's been a little down and struggling a little bit," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. "He's been working his [backside] off and it paid off."

Soriano said he's been feeling better at the plate.

"The last two days, I've felt my swing back," he said. "Today, I was more selective at home plate. When I swing at a good pitch, I hit the ball hard. My swing is good. That's the only thing I have to control at home plate [is being selective.]"

He is the oldest player on the Cubs and gets a kick out of the high-energy kids on the roster.

"It makes me young," Soriano said. "It makes me happy. I know I'm 36 years old, 11 years in the game, but with those guys, it's like my first year in the big leagues. I'm very happy."

Sveum said he's going to keep Soriano in the No. 5 spot.

"I think he's still a threat," Sveum said. "I'm not going to move him down any time soon, that's for sure. He's a big threat. He's in the five-spot and he's got people around him who can do things. The media guide doesn't lie. When it's all said and done, he'll end up with his 25 to 30 home runs and we'll look back on this and laugh at it."

Soriano smiled when told what Sveum said.

"That's the last thing I want to lose in my mind is my confidence," he said. "I know what I can do. We play 162 games and sometimes you have a bad week, two weeks. That doesn't mean the season is over."