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Cubs’ Lee, Ramirez pack quite a punch

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Associated Press
September 22, 2009
— Tyler Colvin reminded himself he had to keep his emotions under control. That’s what ran the last Cubs outfielder out of town, maybe for good.

Colvin made a positive first impression, Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez hit consecutive homers, and Tom Gorzelanny tied a career high with nine strikeouts in Chicago’s 10-2 win over the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday night.


Colvin, who replaced Milton Bradley on the Cubs’ roster, hit a sacrifice fly in his first career plate appearance and added his first major league hit in the third inning.


“I was nervous. I can’t hide that. I was really nervous before the game, could barely eat,” Colvin said. “I learned how to control my emotions in front of a big crowd. I’ve never played in front of a crowd like this and hopefully I can just build off of it.”


Lee drove in four runs and Ramirez scored twice and drove in two more for the Cubs, who jumped out to a 7-0 lead and won for the second time since general manager Jim Hendry suspended Bradley for the rest of the season Sunday.


The quiet Colvin, who had just finished the season at Double-A Tennessee, sat watching Ted Lilly and Ryan Dempster play cards after the game without saying a word. He said afterward he’s trying to soak up everything he can.


“I get to pick everyone’s brain around here,” Colvin said.


Mike Cameron hit two solo home runs off Gorzelanny


(6-2), but that was it against the left-hander who pitched five solid innings after struggling in his two previous starts at Miller Park.


Cubs manager Lou Piniella said Gorzelanny had worked his way into the team’s plans for next season. The Cubs acquired the pitcher in a five-player deal with the Pirates on July 30.


“We like Gorzelanny, he’s got a spot here, whether it be pitching in the middle in the bullpen or whether it be as a fourth or fifth starter,” Piniella said. “We’ll have to wait and see here over the winter.”


Chicago’s first four batters of the game reached and scored against Braden Looper (13-7).


Ryan Theriot singled, Kosuke Fukudome doubled after Corey Hart and second baseman Felipe Lopez collided in shallow right field, and Lee followed with a two-run single.


Ramirez singled and, after an out, Jeff Baker drove in a run with a single. Colvin, a first-round draft pick in 2006 who needed reconstructive elbow surgery last year, followed with a sacrifice fly to make it 4-0.


With two outs in the second, Fukudome singled and Lee hit his 34th homer to left field to tie a career best with 107 RBIs this season. Ramirez followed with a home run two pitches later to give Chicago a 7-0 lead.


“Numbers aren’t important. The wins are the only thing that matters,” Lee said. “If I have the day I had today and we lose, it doesn’t matter. It’s as simple as that.”


Bradley signed a $30 million, three-year deal before the season to give the Cubs another big bat in the middle of the order. It hasn’t panned out, and Bradley was suspended Sunday for criticizing the organization in a newspaper interview.


Lee and Ramirez both went 3-for-4.


and provided more than enough offense against Looper, who has allowed a major league-high 37 homers this year. Brewers general manager Doug Melvin must decide what to do with the veteran right-hander. The two sides have a mutual option for 2010.


“I like it here. I like the team, I like the guys here. But I have to pitch better than I did tonight. That’s something that Doug and the guys have to figure out,” Looper said. “I have no say until they tell me what they want to do and then we’ll go from there. I do definitely like it here.”


Cameron homered in the second and fourth off Gorzelanny.


Gorzelanny allowed 13 runs in his previous two starts at Miller Park last year, but the rest of the Brewers couldn’t produce against him or relievers Aaron Heilman and Justin Berg over the final four innings.


“It’s a lot different scenario for me this year than it was last year,” Gorzelanny said. “I’ve made quite a few changes.”



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