Soriano sits to escape source(s) of heat

CHICAGO -- Alfonso Soriano's day off Sunday was not knee related, but instead to get him a breather during the midst of a string of games in the intense summer heat.

As hot as it was this week in Chicago, things don’t get any easier for the Chicago Cubs, who next open a four-game series at Atlanta, where the temperatures this weekend were over 100 degrees with humidity.

But the warm temperatures weren’t the only reason Soriano was sitting Sunday. It seems that Astros pitcher Wandy Rodriguez can pit the heat on Soriano as well.

“Half of it is his not liking Wandy too much, his numbers against Wandy,” manager Dale Sveum said. “He wasn’t really fighting me on it either. For whatever reason, some guys just have some really bad numbers against certain people.”

Soriano is just 4-for-38 (.105) in his career against Rodriguez, with a home run and five RBIs.

The veteran had played in 72 of the Cubs’ 77 games this season and has been experiencing a revival of late. His 15 home runs are the most in the National League since May 15 and the third most in baseball over that time period.

Soriano had been dealing with a sore left knee earlier this season but the pain and an obvious limp has decreased. Soriano credits leg exercises for the improvement as the muscles around the knee are taking the pressure off his joints.