Cubs Sit Soriano

The Cubs finally went ahead and did it. They decided to sit left fielder Alfonso Soriano for an indefinite time because of soreness in his left knee.

The deciding factor may have come in Thursday's 5-0 loss to the White Sox, when Soriano slipped and fell while unsuccessfully trying to catch a fly ball.

Soriano received a cortisone shot in the knee this past Sunday, and he insisted he was OK to play. However, the knee has been bothering him since late April. Although Soriano has had more downs than ups at the plate this year, he said the knee has bothered him more while running than hitting.

The Cubs have stopped short of saying they'll shut Soriano down for the season and get him ready for next year, the fourth season of an eight-year, $136 million contract, but a published report in the Chicago Tribune late Friday quoted Soriano as saying he'll undergo arthroscopic surgery sometime this month. Such a procedure could shut Soriano down for the season, depending on when he has it.

"The crux of it is his knee is not strong," said manager Lou Piniella. "He's having trouble playing on it. There's no timetable. This is not a rest."

The "rest" came during the past week, when Soriano missed three games to give the knee a break.

NOTES

--IF Bobby Scales was recalled from Class AAA Iowa. He got a pinch-hit single in the ninth inning. Scales, 31, who made his major league debut earlier this year, is in his third stint with the Cubs. He was 14-for-58 (.241) with three homers earlier this year.

--The Cubs claimed RHP Thomas Diamond off waivers from the Texas organization and assigned him to Class AAA Iowa (Des Moines). Diamond played college ball at the University of New Orleans for Randy Bush, now the Cubs' assistant GM.

--LHP John Grabow had his scoreless-games streak since joining the Cubs end at 16, covering 13 innings. He gave up four hits and three runs without retiring a batter in the eighth. The Cubs cited research by Elias that Grabow's scoreless-games streak was a record by a reliever starting beginning his Cubs career. The Cubs obtained Grabow in July 30 trade with Pittsburgh.

--RHP Carlos Zambrano turned in his first quality start since July 27. The only run he gave up came on a second-inning homer by Cory Sullivan. Zambrano got a no-decision, and his ERA feel from 3.91 to 3.80.

--1B Derrek Lee missed his second straight game. His wife gave birth Thursday. Micah Hoffpauir played first base and went 0-for-4. The Cubs expect Lee back Saturday.

--RF Milton Bradley went 2-for-5 with a double. On the just-concluded homestand, he was 15-for-37 (.405) with three doubles and three homers. Bradley had been batting second, but with Lee out, he hit fourth Thursday and third Friday.

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