Another 2-HR effort from Lee boosts Cubs

Chicago CubsByung Hyun KimAramis RamirezDerrek LeeTodd WalkerGlendon RuschMichael Wuertz

Derrek Lee has found a peaceful place to get away from all the concerns of the Cubs' clubhouse.

"It's nice to start playing the games because everything kind of goes away," he said. "You don't have to think about anything but the game. Then once the game is over, you start thinking about all the stuff that's going on.

"I enjoy the game. You get to take your mind off things."

Lee helped the Cubs forget about the latest injury to Mark Prior and the trade of LaTroy Hawkins with four home runs the last two days.

He smacked a pair and drove in three runs Saturday as the Cubs beat the Rockies 5-1 behind his hitting and Glendon Rusch's pitching.

For a while, all was right with the Cubs as they won their second straight game and moved to within one game, again, of reaching the elusive .500 mark. And the world was made better because of Lee, who is hitting .357 with 16 homers and 45 RBIs as he carries the Cubs.

"He's a big ol' man with big ol' shoulders," manager Dusty Baker said. "If anybody can do it, it's him. He goes about his business quietly. He doesn't boast or brag or flaunt what he's done. He's a consummate professional."

Lee gave Rusch a 1-0 lead in the first inning when he deposited a Byung-Hyun Kim fastball on Waveland Avenue.

"I think I had my swing pretty much the whole season," Lee said. "I don't think I ever have been so hot for this long."

He gave Rusch a 3-1 lead in the sixth when he hit another with Todd Walker on base after a triple, knee brace and all.

"I told him," Walker said, "if I knew he was going to do that I would have stopped at first."

After Lee's second homer, the Cubs chased Kim when Jeromy Burnitz singled and Aramis Ramirez hit his first homer since May 13, much to the delight of Rusch and 39,368 fans.

"If we can get Aramis in the same position [as Lee], we can be a very good team," Walker said.

Rusch (4-1) limited the Rockies to one run on four hits before getting bullpen help from Michael Wuertz and Ryan Dempster. He says the key was getting a double play in the fifth inning with the bases loaded that shortstop Neifi Perez started with a nifty play.

But Saturday's spotlight belonged to Lee.

"Unbelievable," Rusch said. "He has had an indescribable amount of clutch hits and big plays [at first base], and we have a long way to go."

And what does Superman eat for breakfast to perform such feats?

"Otis (clubhouse manager Tom Hellman) has made me three eggs with ham and cheese every morning since I got here," Lee said.

And then he goes to his peaceful spot to get away from everything¬óthe game.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
Comments
Loading