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Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Cubs put together first winning trip

By Bruce Levine

Carlos Pena
Carlos Pena has hit home runs in consecutive games for the Cubs.
LOS ANGELES -- The Cubs may have stumbled on some synergy during their just completed 4-3 road trip, which was their first winning trip of the season.

And it's a fortunate time to gain some momentum as the Cubs head home to play division rivals Cincinnati and St. Louis

"[Carlos Zambrano] was great, and we hit a couple of long balls that ended up going out," Cubs manager Mike Quade said after a 5-1 win over the Dodgers on Wednesday. "It ended up being a pretty good trip. A trip that had its moments."

Former Cubs left-hander Ted Lilly was the victim of home runs hit by Geovany Soto, Carlos Pena and Marlon Byrd, whose homer was his first of the season.

"You didn't think I was going to go 600 plate appearances without a home run," Byrd said. "I just wanted to find my swing and contribute."

It was the first home run for any Cubs player in the No. 3 spot in the lineup.

"I came out here and got some early hitting in," Byrd said. "It's nice to get some live swings in, and see what the ball was going to do."

Pena went deep for the second straight day, while catcher Soto got the team going with the first home run of the day in the fifth.

"I was just trying to put the ball in play with authority," Soto said. "We were facing a pretty good opposing pitcher."

The day belonged to Zambrano, who won his fourth game while going eight innings and yielding just one run.

"I came out in the first inning, and I saw the gun read 92," Zambrano said. "Then I saw the gun again at 94. But it wasn't the velocity. My delivery was nice and easy today. When it went to he plate, it wasn't floating."

Zambrano won his 10th straight road game, a stretch dating back to Aug. 14, 2010.