It's been quite awhile between victories for Jeff Samardzija.
The Cubs pitcher took all matters into his own hands Wednesday night during a 6-3 victory over the Colorado Rockies at Wrigley Field.
Contact information ( * required )
Not only did Samardzija pitch 8 solid innings, he also hit a 2-run homer in the second inning to put the Cubs ahead 3-1.
With the victory, the Cubs improved to 17-23, and they've won their second straight series.
"Whatever, the home run was a little luck," said Samardzija, who notched his first victory since Opening Day and improved to 2-5 with a 3.49 ERA. "So I'd probably start with something else."
Starting with Samardzija's pitching would be a good place. He gave up 5 hits and 2 runs while throwing 105 pitches. His performance came on the heels of last Friday's game at Washington, where he gave up 8 hits and 7 runs (5 earned) in 5 innings.
"Call me crazy, but like I said, I thought I did some good things at Washington," he said. "I thought I got back on track with my fastball. I just didn't pitch in enough against Washington, but overall, when I looked back at the film, I was really happy with how I threw.
"The outcome wasn't what you wanted, but I just needed to carry that over into tonight."
Samardzija also gave a tip of the cap to left fielder Alfonso Soriano and second baseman Darwin Barney, both of whom made good plays in the field, Soriano to throw out a runner at second going for a double and Barney ranging to the middle to throw out a runner at first.
Although he battled through a couple of innings, Samardzija was able to put his pitches where he wanted to put them.
"Like I said before the game, I think he used the whole four corners of the plate," manager Dale Sveum said. "He pitched up. He pitched in. He pitched away. He used his slider, used his split, used a lot of cutters tonight. He just used his whole repertoire."
Samardzija also had a sacrifice bunt in the seventh as the Cubs scored 3 runs to break open a 3-2 game. And his homer was the second of his career, the previous one coming in 2009. It also seemed to be a relief that he got a "W" next to his name in the box score after a month-and-a-half.
"Yeah, sometimes those things are kind of snaky," he said. "Sometimes they're hard to grab. Giving up the lead against San Diego (in late April), a couple things like that, you just can't take those chances for granted.
"You need to take advantage of them. We got that lead. To put up those 3 in the (seventh) was huge. It really allowed me to calm down and get back in the zone."