Soriano celebrates another walk-off win over Cardinals

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Soriano celebrates another walk-off win over Cardinals

Alfonso Soriano danced around late Tuesday night and got the Gatorade bucket filled with ice water dumped over his head.

Soriano had just smashed a two-out single off Cardinals second baseman Tyler Greene. The ball trickled away in the 10th inning, scoring Tony Campana and giving the Cubs a 3-2 walk-off victory at Clark and Addison.

We need that kind of emotion and belief, Soriano said afterward, above the dance beats pumping from the clubhouse stereo. We got to celebrate when were winning, because thats the best part.

A blown save against the Cardinals last season prompted Carlos Zambrano to look in the direction of Carlos Marmols locker and deliver the We stinks! address.

No ones quite sure what the Cubs (6-12) are now, or what theyre going to become. But if the past two nights are any indication, its going to be unpredictable.

The last time the Cubs had back-to-back walk-off wins against the Cardinals at Wrigley Field was July 26-27, 1961, according to team historian Ed Hartig.

Its great, especially for a young ballclub, said Jeff Samardzija, who threw 6 23 scoreless innings that became a footnote. We know were going to be in a lot of these tight games.

We know were not going to bang the ball around the park. We just need to pitch well and play good defense and when we get those opportunities to score runs, we need to get them across.

This one took three hours and 21 minutes. The boos became the soundtrack as Marmol walked back to the dugout in the middle of the eighth inning.

They had just watched Matt Holliday lift Marmols 2-2 slider over the wall in center Campana thought it was close enough to make a jump for the go-ahead, two-out, two-run homer.

Manager Dale Sveum gave his closer a vote of confidence: Hell be right back out there tomorrow. And Bryan LaHair changed the subject in the ninth when he hit the teams first home run in nine games, a shot off left-hander Marc Rzepczynski that tied it at 2-2.

Soriano still hasnt homered yet, and on Tuesday snapped an 0-for-14 streak, and finally got his first extra-base hit of the season. Before the game, Sveum issued another vote of confidence and said he wouldnt drop Soriano in the order.

On a team thats looking to go young and inexpensive, Soriano is a symbol of the old way of doing business. Hes the 136 million man who enjoys being around the rookies.

It makes me young, Soriano said. I hang around with those guys, play with them, Im happy. I know that Im 36 years old, 11 years in the game, but with those guys, I feel like this is my first year in the big leagues, too. Im very happy that Im part of this team.

The Cardinals (11-7) wouldnt have made the playoffs and won the World Series last year if the Cubs had shown a little more fight and tightened up their game in St. Louis. Who knows where it will go from here?

(This) is an interesting little team with how we play and how we come to the park and work every day, Samardzija said. That starts up top. Dales been great since spring training with keeping our minds set on the right goal.

(Thats) to play the right way. What happens, the outcome of the game, is important, but its also about how you play the game and how it pans out for nine innings. In this case, it was 10, and we kept playing the whole game.

Bears NFL Draft Preview: Creating WR depth while waiting for Kevin White's emergence

Bears NFL Draft Preview: Creating WR depth while waiting for Kevin White's emergence

CSNChicago.com Bears Insider John "Moon" Mullin goes position-by-position as the Bears approach the 2017 Draft, taking a look at what the Bears have, what they might need, and what draft day and after could have in store. Seventh in a series.

Bears pre-draft situation

Alshon Jeffery is on to Philadelphia after striking a one-year deal with the Eagles. For an offense that has let go of Jeffery, Brandon Marshall, Matt Forte, Martellus Bennett and Jay Cutler since the arrival of John Fox and his coaching staff in 2015, the search for replacement firepower has seldom been more urgent.

The splash from Cameron Meredith (14 games, 66 receptions) was a significant bright spot from the dismal '16. Bears are still waiting for some impact — ANY impact — from Kevin White after making him the No. 7 pick of the '15 draft and seeing his two NFL seasons end with broken leg bones. White was leading the Bears with 19 catches through four games last season when he was lost for the year, so some very guarded optimism is allowable.

"Kevin is going to have to step up, stay healthy, and he knows that, and he's motivated," said GM Ryan Pace. "We're excited about a handful of guys and we still have the draft ahead of us, too."

The free-agency addition of Eddie Royal in '15 was intended to bring an immediate infusion of veteran savvy and production at the nickel spot. Both his seasons were gutted by injuries, with a total of 70 receptions, the second-lowest two-year total of his nine-year career. Royal had foot surgery in December and is expected to be released when sufficiently healed.

This offseason was marked by a commitment to upgrading wideout speed, coming in the forms of Markus Wheaton from Pittsburgh and Kendall Wright from Tennessee.

"Markus is a deep threat receiver," Pace said. "[In] 2015 he was Top 10 in reception average. I really like his makeup and his toughness going all the way back to Oregon State, but he's a guy who can really run and gives us that element in our offense that I think that we need, speed. Unfortunately, he had a shoulder injury last year that happened kind of early in the season and then eventually needed surgery on it. But he's fully cleared now and we feel good about that now."

Pre-draft depth-chart'ing starters

WR - Kevin White

WR - Cam Meredith

WR - Markus Wheaton/Kendall Wright

Reserves: Dres Anderson, Josh Bellamy, Daniel Braverman, Rueben Randle, Eddie Royal, Deonte Thompson

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Bears draft priority: Low/moderate

Names were added to the pool of options but none of the stature of Jeffery, and until the aggregate proves to better than simply average, the Bears will always look to add impact points-producers when the options present themselves. Rarely has their receiver corps had so many unprovens going into a season.

The organization believes White's run of bad luck is due to change and reduced some of the positional urgency with the offseason additions. Wheaton signed a two-year deal, Wright for one year, Meredith has had just one meaningful season and White is a virtual "rookie" for the third straight year.

Pace has drafted a wideout in each of his two drafts, White in '15 and Braverman last year. Braverman played three games without a catch and will be in another intense competition for a roster spot. Best guess would be a late-round wideout with abilities to enhance the return game.

Keep an eye on ...

Kenny Golladay, Northern Illinois — Caught 160 passes over two NIU seasons. Fits Bears' template for size (6-4, 218) and had private workout with them.

Jordan Westerkamp, Nebraska — Bears staffed his workout and could find a spot as a practice-squad player able to fill nickel role.

Chad Williams, Grambling — Private workout for Bears, had huge production and may be a value late-round pick for development.

2017 NFL Draft Profile: Tennessee RB Alvin Kamara

2017 NFL Draft Profile: Tennessee RB Alvin Kamara

As part of our coverage leading up to the 2017 NFL Draft we will provide profiles of more than 100 prospects, including a scouting report and video interviews with each player.

Alvin Kamara, RB, Tennessee

5'10" | 214 lbs.

2016 stats:

103 CAR, 596 YDS, 9 TD | 40 REC, 392 YDS, 4 TD

Projection:

Second round

Scouting Report:

"Ascending, competitive runner who has flashed explosive NFL talent at various times over the last two seasons. A committed runner with excellent balance who finds yardage that isn't blocked for him. While he has never logged 20 carries in a single game, he has the talent to play on all three downs if he can prove his durability." — Lance Zierlein, NFL.com

Click here for more NFL Draft Profiles