How it happened: Alfonso Soriano delivered yet again with the bat, and Matt Garza continued his trend of strong performances on the mound. Soriano had two extra-base hits, a double and his team-leading 16th home run of the season. Garza tossed 6 2/3 innings, holding the highest-scoring offense in the NL to only two runs but gave up 10 hits. Garza struck out four and walked two. Luis Valbuena added a two-run home run in the fourth and Starlin Castro delivered his third straight multihit game.
What it means: Garza continues to build his trade value and solidify his claim as the best starting pitcher available before this season's deadline. In his past six starts, Garza has pitched 42 2/3 innings and posted a 1.24 ERA, striking out 38 and walking 10.
Outside the box: Soriano's home run was the 180th of his Cubs career, tying him for 11th in Cubs history with Derrek Lee. Soriano is slugging a robust .855 in his past 17 games. The Cubs announced attendance of 42,240 was the largest of the season at Wrigley Field.
Up next: The Cubs end the first half by trying to take three of four from the Cardinals. Travis Wood (6-6, 2.69) takes on St. Louis ace Adam Wainwright (12-5, 2.30) at Wrigley Field on Sunday night at 7:05 p.m.