CHICAGO (AP) — Carlos Zambrano pitched seven strong innings, Derrek Lee drove in a season-high four runs and Geovany Soto homered Sunday to lead the Chicago Cubs to a 12-1 victory over the Los Angeles Angels.
It was quite a turnaround for the Cubs, who had dropped six of nine and were coming off a 12-0 loss that left fans peppering them with boos.
The Cubs matched a season-high with 18 hits after collecting two on Saturday, and they took advantage of some defensive lapses, scoring two runs in each of the first two innings and chasing Joe Saunders (5-8) in a four-run third that made it 8-0.
Zambrano (3-5) had one of his better outings this season.
He allowed one run and eight hits while striking out seven and walking one in his fourth start since his return from the bullpen. He also delivered two hits, including an RBI single in the third, as the Cubs avoided the weekend sweep.
Lee had a sacrifice fly in the second, a two-run, bases-loaded double in the third and added an RBI single in the fifth, sending the Angels to their third road loss in 15 games.
Soto hit the first pitch of the third into the left-field bleachers for his eighth homer and Zambrano made it 6-0 when he drove in Starlin Castro with a one-out single.
The Cubs added to their lead after another misplay by shortstop Brandon Wood, who mishandled Jeff Baker's hopper with two out. That loaded the bases for Lee, who capped the burst by lining a double to make it 8-0 and chase Saunders.
The left-hander simply got battered, allowing nine hits while throwing 84 pitches in 2 2-3 innings in a rare poor performance away from home.
He came in with a 4-1 road record this season, but it was clear from the start that this was not his day. Poor fielding simply compounded the problems.
In the first, Alfonso Soriano beat out a slow roller with the bases loaded that second baseman Howie Kendrick barehanded before throwing wildly to first as two runs scored.
In the second, Wood pitched in.
He dropped the ball after fielding Ryan Theriot's leadoff single behind second and made a questionable decision on Marlon Byrd's one-out grounder. Rather than get the easy out at first, Wood double-clutched as he went to third and Theriot beat the throw.
Baker then doubled to right, and Lee followed with a sacrifice fly to make it 4-0.
NOTES: Cubs manager Lou Piniella said he "would think" 3B Aramis Ramirez will be ready to come off the disabled list when he's eligible on Wednesday. Ramirez, out with an ailing left thumb, is rehabbing with Class A Peoria. ... Cubs radio announcer Ron Santo will miss the three-game trip to Seattle that starts Tuesday and plans to cut back his travel schedule to the "Midwest only" next season. A diabetic, Santo fell ill during the previous trip, going to the hospital in Pittsburgh and coming home from Milwaukee after feeling sick again. ... Angels manager Mike Scioscia said SS Erick Aybar (hyperextended left knee) had "a good workout" on Saturday, taking ground balls and running in the outfield, and will be reevaluated on Monday.