By RICK GANO
AP Sports Writer
CHICAGO (AP) -- Geovany Soto drove in three runs, Jim Edmonds homered and the Chicago Cubs jumped on spot starter Matt Albers early and went on to beat the Baltimore Orioles 7-4 Wednesday night.
Jay Payton hit a pair of two-run homers off Chicago starter Ted Lilly (8-5) to lead the Orioles, who'd snapped the Cubs' 14-game home field winning streak Tuesday night.
Lilly went seven innings and gave up five hits and four runs -- his biggest problem being longtime nemesis Payton. After going 2-for-3 against Lilly, Payton is now 9-for-19 with three homers in his career against the left-hander.
Carlos Marmol pitched the eighth and Kerry Wood struck out the side in the ninth for his 20th save in 24 chances.
Albers (3-3) made the start when Brian Burres was scratched about 2 1/2 hours before the game because of illness.
But his outing was a painfully short one.
He threw only 21 pitches and faced five batters in the bottom of the first before leaving with discomfort in his right shoulder. In a third of an inning, Albers was charged with four runs, gave up three hits and walked a batter.
Ryan Theriot doubled off third baseman Melvin Mora's glove, moved to third on Derrek Lee's single behind second and scored on Aramis Ramirez's RBI single to left. After Albers walked Jim Edmonds to load the bases, Orioles pitching coach Rick Kranitz visited the mound and quickly signaled for a trainer.
Lance Cormier relieved and got as many warmup pitches as he needed but was greeted by Soto's two-run single, a hard shot that hit in front of shortstop Alex Cintron and skipped past him. Both runners moved up on the throw to the plate and Mark DeRosa made it 4-0 with an RBI single to right.
Payton hit a two-out homer on an 0-2 pitch in the second to cut the Cubs' lead in half.
But the Cubs got it right back in the bottom half. Edmonds got an RBI on a bases-loaded fielder's choice grounder and Soto delivered another run-scoring single to make it 6-2. Payton homered again in the fourth with a drive over the wall in right.
Edmonds hit his seventh homer, off Ryan Bukvich, to lead off the fourth and make it 7-4.
RF Kosuke Fukudome was a late scratch for the Cubs with tightness in his left calf. Eric Patterson took over as the leadoff hitter. ... Albers' start was just his third in 28 appearances this season. ... Ramirez has 10 RBIs over the five games of the Cubs' current homestand. ... Edmonds also walked three times. Soto reached base four times, adding two walks to his pair of run-scoring hits. Baltimore pitching issued 10 free passes.