Apparently, 13 is Alfonso Soriano's new lucky number.
On Friday the 13th, Soriano moved into 13th place on the Cubs' all-time leaderboard for home runs.
The 36-year-old outfielder has been battling a creaky knee for the entire season and with a rain delay that lasted just shy of four hours, it would not have been crazy to see him scratched from the lineup on a slippery playing surface.
But Soriano played on and powered the Cubs to a 8-1 victory over visiting Arizona in the first game of the second half. Soriano swung early and often -- he only saw eight pitches in four at-bats -- but had two doubles, two homers, three runs and five RBI to show for it.
The five RBI tied his career high, which he has reached seven times, the last of which came Sept. 6, 2008 in Cincinnati.
The four days off during the All-Star break appears to have done wonders for Soriano.
"I told him he's getting four more days off," manager Dale Sveum said with a laugh. "That was impressive...That was huge. Coming out of the break for him to get hot, that would be huge. We could keep this thing rolling with him going."
Soriano said he cleared his mind and his body during the four-day layoff and that his leg has been feeling good the last month or two.
It showed on his first first double in the second inning, in which he hustled into second, advanced to third on Geovany Soto's fly out to center, and then scored on a wild pitch.
The first homer -- in the fourth inning -- left the ballpark, landing on Waveland Ave. for some lucky fan.
The second bomb was a dagger for the Diamondbacks, a three-run shot that just barely snuck into the center-field seats. It was Soriano's 149th in a Cubs uniform, which moved him into 13th place all-time in franchise history. He passed Mark Grace in the process, who ironically was in the house, working as a TV broadcaster for the Diamondbacks and singing the Seventh Inning Stretch.
Soriano added another RBI double in the seventh and coasted to one of his best games in a Cubs uniform.
Just under a month ago, Soriano was booed mercilessly by fans at Wrigley after failing to run out a line drive against the Red Sox. Friday, he was cheered and revered among the Wrigley faithful.
For all the criticism he's taken, the veteran outfielder is on pace for 32 home runs and 100 RBI this season. He raised his batting average 10 points and his OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage) 43 points in Friday's game alone.
"It's nice that he's doing it for us," Sveum said. "We've played almost 90 games now. Seventeen homers and 53 RBI is pretty good for a guy that wasn't expected to do a whole lot this year. He's done one heck of a job for us."
Soriano attributes the new front office regime for sticking with him after a couple rough years.
"I'm very happy with the coaches and GM and president, because they show me respect and confidence in myself," he said. "I haven't had that in three or four years."
Soriano admitted it was great to have such a successful game at the plate, but at the end of the day, he was more worried about the victory.
"There was a lot of rain, but more importantly, we got the win," he said, flashing his trademark smile. "It's a long day, but you know, when you get the win, it doesn't matter how long you stay here."