Silva leads Cubs past Mets

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NEW YORK (AP) — Carlos Silva added six crisp innings to his surprising comeback, Alfonso Soriano hit a two-run homer and the Chicago Cubs beat the New York Mets 9-3 on Wednesday night to snap a four-game skid.

Silva (2-0) used his heavy sinker to put together his third straight quality start, yielding one run and two hits. He has allowed two earned runs in 19 innings for a microscopic 0.95 ERA in his first year with Chicago after two rocky seasons in Seattle.

Another record-low Citi Field crowd watched as the Mets' late rally against Chicago's floundering bullpen ran out of gas. This time the announced attendance was 25,684, lower than the second-year ballpark's previous mark of 25,982 set April 8 for a game against Florida.

Soriano finished with three hits and three RBIs for the Cubs, who scored just six runs during their losing streak. Marlon Byrd also drove in three runs and Ryan Theriot collected three singles, including a run-scoring hit in Chicago's three-run seventh.

The Mets began the eighth with three consecutive hits off Sean Marshall, including slumping slugger David Wright's RBI single that got New York within three. But Justin Berg retired three straight to end the threat and Carlos Marmol got the final three outs.

Concerned about a handful of slumping relievers, Cubs manager Lou Piniella announced before the game that ace right-hander Carlos Zambrano was moving to the bullpen. Zambrano could make his first relief appearance since 2002 as soon as Friday.

Rod Barajas hit his third homer for New York, which finished with six hits. Mets first baseman Ike Davis also turned in an outstanding catch in the first, tumbling over the dugout railing to grab Jeff Baker's popup.

The Cubs acquired Silva and cash from the Mariners for Milton Bradley in a swap underperforming players in December. He won five games during two injury-plagued seasons with Seattle after signing a $48 million, four-year contract.

Soriano tripled and scored on Geovany Soto's single in the fourth to give the Cubs a 2-1 lead off Oliver Perez (0-2). Soriano added an RBI single in the fifth and his second homer of the season in the seventh.

NOTES: The Mets placed reliever Ryota Igarashi on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left hamstring and recalled fellow RHP Manny Acosta from Triple-A Buffalo. Acosta allowed three runs and two hits in 1 1-3 innings against the Cubs. ... Cubs OF Xavier Nady received his 2009 World Series ring when New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman surprised him at Citi Field before the game. "It was pretty special," Nady said.

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