has a remedy ready for the next time
's power stroke inexplicably disappears.
''We'll dislocate a finger a week if it gives us a three-run homer,'' Piniella wisecracked.
Soriano hit a go-ahead three-run shot in the sixth, connecting for the first time in almost six weeks, and the Cubs held on
for a 6-5 victory over the
on Saturday night.
Soriano sent a first-pitch slider from rookie right-hander
over the wall in right-center, erasing a 4-2 Washington lead. It was the 15th homer - and first since June 7, a span of 121
at-bats, the second-longest dry spell of his career - for Soriano. The outfielder missed Friday night's game with a swollen
right pinkie finger after dislocating the digit diving back to first base the night before.
The blast came after Zimmermann fanned
on three pitches for the inning's first out. Catcher
said the ball didn't go where Zimmermann wanted, creating a fat pitch.
''It's a slider that didn't do anything,'' Nieves said. ''We tried to throw down and away and it stayed in the middle. Soriano
is a pretty good mistake hitter.''
Piniella had two lineups penned when he arrived at Nationals Park on Saturday - one with Soriano, one without - and had to
wait for Soriano to swing without pain in the cage. Considering the outcome, Soriano took his manager's good-natured threat
''I had to wait to dislocate one finger to hit a homer, so I don't know,'' he said. ''But I feel very comfortable at home
plate. I had bad first half, so I hope every bad moment I had will stay in the first half and I have a new second half with
a better job.''
(5-4) worked five innings, allowing four runs on seven hits, walking one and striking out one. Wells started in place of
, who was scratched with a sore left knee.
had two RBIs for Washington, which fell to 0-3 under interim manager Jim Riggleman, who took over when Manny Acta was fired
Monday. The Nationals, who couldn't protect a 4-0 lead, have lost four straight and nine of 10.
also homered and
drove in two runs for the Cubs, who have won three in a row.
escaped a one-out, bases-loaded jam in the seventh and
to ground sharply to third with the bases full to end the eighth. Gregg needed five outs for his 18th save in 21 chances.
Given the squandered lead and late opportunities, Riggleman couldn't fault the Nationals for not putting themselves in a position
to win for the first time since July 11.
''We just haven't been able to get a run home,'' he said. ''It's going to happen, though. I promise you it's going to happen.''
The Nationals took a quick 2-0 lead off Wells in the first.
led off with a double, moved to third on
's single and scored Zimmerman's sacrifice fly. Johnson stole second and scored when
doubled to left-center.
RBI singles by Morgan and Johnson made it 4-0 in the second. Theriot's two-run triple cut the lead to 4-2 in the third.
In the Cubs sixth,
led off with a double,
reached on second baseman
' error before Soriano's shot.
Zimmermann (3-5) lasted 5 1-3 innings, allowing five runs - four earned - on six hits. He walked one and matched a career
high with eight strikeouts.
Fontenot homered off
in the eighth. Zimmerman's sacrifice fly got Washington to 6-5 in the bottom of the inning.
NOTES: Instead of starting Monday against the Mets, Nationals LHP
will have his back tightness examined by Dr. James Andrews. Acting general manager Mike Rizzo said Washington would recall
a pitcher from Triple-A Syracuse to make the start. ... Cubs RHP
, on the 15-day disabled list since July 7 (fractured toe), threw a bullpen session Saturday and ''felt OK,'' manager
said. ... Willingham was twice hit by pitches and has been plunked a team-high 10 times this year.