The putrid Cubs offense exploded Monday night for a season-high 14 hits, including three home runs, en route to an easy 12-4 victory over the visiting San Diego Padres. Cliff Floyd, who entered the game in the fifth after Alfonso Soriano injured his hamstring diving for a line drive, ignited the Cubs offense with two hits, including a towering home run to right, and three RBI. Jason Marquis pitched six solid innings for the win and added two hits at the plate.

When asked how his team scored so many runs, manager Lou Piniella, still peeved from the team’s awful showing over the weekend, continued to be standoffish with reporters.

“You saw the damn game,” said Piniella. “I don’t know. Why don’t you tell me how the hell we scored so many damn runs?”

The actual answer may lie with team security, which spotted a familiar looking figure on surveillance video early Monday morning, sneaking into the Cubs clubhouse. The suspect, who was wearing a Texas Rangers cap, is accused of corking the Cubs bats prior to game time before slipping out of the stadium unnoticed.

“The perpetrator looked familiar, like I had seen him around here before, but he was noticeably skinnier than I remember,” said Cubs manager of security Mike Hill. “It was almost like he was trying to get caught because he kept blowing kisses to the security camera.”

When asked about the incident, former Cub slugger Sammy Sosa, in town with his Ranger teammates as they prepare for Tuesday’s tilt with the White Sox at U.S. Cellular, pleaded the Fifth.

“I mean lifting weights and taking vitamins all morning long with my trainer,” said Sosa. “I don’t know nothing about no cork. Anyway, I still love Chicago and Chicago still loves Sammy.”

heckler editorial staff