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Cubs use monster inning to bury Sox

Cubs use monster inning to bury Sox

CHICAGO -- Who would've imagined Jim Edmonds getting a standing ovation at Wrigley Field?

Edmonds was cheered not once, but twice in the fourth inning Saturday. And the folks in the bleachers in Cubs' colors, who have apparently forgotten that he wore St. Louis red, applauded again as he took the field in the fifth.

"It's always a strange feeling when you see people bowing to you," Edmonds said. "It's a great thing to be a part of, and I'm having a lot of fun."

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He certainly is. Edmonds notched two of the four homers hit in a wild nine-run fourth inning, and Aramis Ramirez drove in four runs to power the Cubs to an 11-7 victory Saturday over the White Sox, and take a 2-0 lead in the intracity Interleague series.

Edmonds, who played for the one team Cubs fans hate more than the White Sox, now is the third Cub ever to hit two homers in one inning, joining Mark Bellhorn (Aug. 29, 2002), and Sammy Sosa (May 16, 1996). Ramirez, who was Friday's hero with a walk-off solo shot, hit an RBI single in the first and added a three-run homer in the fourth. Mike Fontenot also connected in the fourth, his third homer.

"It was a great inning and fun to be part of," Edmonds said.

The four homers in one inning tied a club record, done twice before on April 27, 2000, against Houston, and May 12, 1930, against the New York Giants. The nine runs were the most scored in one inning since the Cubs tallied 10 on June 10, 2004, against St. Louis at Wrigley. And yes, Edmonds was in center field that day for the Cardinals.

"He's a big key for us," Cubs manager Lou Piniella said. "Hitting in that fifth spot, behind our right-handed bats, it really helps when he produces, and he produced today."

He joined the Cubs in mid May after the San Diego Padres released him. Edmonds was slowed in Spring Training because of an injury, and hit .178 for the Padres. In his last 18 games for the Cubs, he's hitting .400 (20-for-50) with four homers and 16 RBIs.

"I told [the Cubs] I could still play," Edmonds said. "I told San Diego I could still play. It just wasn't working out. I feel pretty comfortable here. Believe it or not, this [was] one of my first choices when I was trying to get traded, but I thought not in a million years would the Cardinals trade me here. I finally ended up here, and it's my good fortune that everything went the way it did at the beginning of the year so I could end up here."

No one knows what Edmonds can do for the Cubs better than Jason Marquis, a former St. Louis teammate, who picked up the win on Saturday.

"This is the Jim Edmonds everybody knows," Marquis said. "Jimmy's Jimmy, and I know what to expect out of him."

Marquis (6-3) benefitted from the fourth-inning outburst. He gave up five runs on eight hits over seven innings, including two homers. Jermaine Dye gave the White Sox a 2-0 lead with a first-inning blast, his second in as many games, and DeWayne Wise connected in the fourth for his first home run since Oct. 3, 2004, which also was against the Cubs when he played for Atlanta.

The Cubs answered in the rowdy fourth. Edmonds and Fontenot got things started by hitting back-to-back blasts off Jose Contreras (6-6). One out later, Ryan Theriot walked and Marquis singled. Kosuke Fukudome, Eric Patterson and Derrek Lee each followed with RBI singles, Ramirez connected on his 13th homer, and Contreras departed. Edmonds greeted Boone Logan with his second blast of the inning to go ahead, 10-4.

"To throw a crooked number, especially a nine up there like that, gives us more breathing room, especially with the weather conditions and the ball flying out there all over the place," said Marquis, well aware the wind was in the hitters' favor. "There's no let-up. If we're up, down, tie -- we just keep battling to try to win the game."

Poor Fontenot. He was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the inning, and didn't get a chance to try to match Edmonds.

"I just figured [Piniella] wanted to get the matchup," Fontenot said. "I don't feel robbed at all."

"I didn't realize that," Piniella said. "Those are senior moments."

If that's the worst thing that happens in this series, so be it.

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

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