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Haren handcuffs Cubs, knocks in 2 in complete-game win



PHOENIX – Dan Haren started the game by giving up a mammoth home run to Alfonso Soriano.

He finished his three-hitter by blowing a called third strike past Kosuke Fukudome.

And it was Haren’s two-run double that was the big hit for the Arizona Diamondbacks in their 7-2 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Monday night.

“It was easy with him today,” said Diamondbacks catcher Chris Snyder, who hit his first homer. “No matter what I put down, he was throwing it effectively.”

Haren (2-3) tossed his seventh career complete game, his second with Arizona.

It took Arizona almost a month to win consecutive games. Now that they’ve done it, the Diamondbacks are hoping to go on a roll.

“Obviously, we’d like to at least triple that,” Arizona manager Bob Melvin said.

At 8-11, the Diamondbacks have failed to take advantage of a schedule that had them play 18 of their first 21 games at home. But they seemed more relaxed as they hammered the Cubs, who had a large and vocal contingent of fans in the Chase Field crowd of 29,471.

“Today was just nice, because I looked around in the seventh, eighth inning, and guys were smiling on the bench, having fun,” Haren said. “It’s a feeling I don’t think we really have had the whole year.”

Haren had a bad feeling when Soriano led off the game by hitting a 1-1 pitch into the front row of the second deck in left. It was his 52nd leadoff homer, third all-time behind Rickey Henderson (81) and Craig Biggio (53).

“You just try to start the game over at that point,” Haren said. “I gave up the run in the first, and once I was able to put up two or three zeros in a row, I felt like we were right there.”

Haren retired 22 of the next 23 batters, with only a single by pitcher Ted Lilly (2-2) breaking up the string of outs. Mike Fontenot ended a 10-pitch battle in the eighth by hitting a 3-2 pitch deep into the seats in right.

Taking advantage of Chicago’s aggressive lineup, Haren struck out 10 and didn’t walk a batter.

“Haren’s a pretty good pitcher,” Chicago manager Lou Piniella said. “He’s been pitching real well this year.”

Haren broke up a tie at 1 in the fourth. Batting with two outs and the bases loaded, he hit a chopper down the left field line to score two runs.

TUESDAY: Chi. Cubs (Zambrano 1-1) at Arizona (Petit 0-1), 6:40 p.m. TV: FSNA, WGN. Radio: 1490 AM

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