CHICAGO -- Had he accepted a trade last season, Alfonso Soriano might have played for a champion. This time around, he doesnt want to think about the possibility. A move might be a consideration if he keeps this up, though. Soriano hit a pair of two-run homers in consecutive innings to lead the Chicago Cubs to a 4-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday. "I want to win here," he said. The Cubs arent doing much of that -- and havent in a few years, actually. Theyre still in the early stages of rebuilding, and with his eight-year contract expiring in 2014, Soriano might be attractive, particularly to American League teams looking for a designated hitter. Last season, the seven-time All-Star turned down a trade to San Francisco, a decision that cost him a World Series ring. "I dont want to think about it," said Soriano, who can veto any deal. "If they have something on the table, they want to let me know before they try outside. I dont want to think about it. I just want to come to the ballpark and play my game." He delivered in this one, and so did the pitchers. Edwin Jackson and three relievers combined on a five-hitter, and the Cubs handed the Pirates just their third loss in 14 games. Pittsburgh came in with the best record in the majors and a seven-game road win streak, but the Pirates couldnt get much going at the plate or find a way to contain Soriano. His drive off Charlie Morton in the fourth after Pedro Alvarez homered in the top half put the Cubs ahead, and he followed that with a long drive to the bleachers in left to make it 4-1 in the fifth. That was enough for Jackson (5-10), who won his second straight start. A disappointment after signing a four-year deal with Chicago in January, the veteran right-hander had one of his better outings and improved to 6-2 in 10 starts against Pittsburgh. He held the Pirates to just one run and four hits in 5 2-3 innings, leaving to cheers after he walked Garrett Jones to put runners on first and second. James Russell came in and struck out Alvarez to end the threat. Matt Guerrier worked two scoreless innings, and Kevin Gregg came on in the ninth for his 15th save in 16 chances. "Every time we had a chance to maybe extend an inning or move the chains Jackson made a pitch and got out of the inning," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. Morton (1-2) pitched six innings for Pittsburgh, allowing four runs and seven hits. He struck out six and walked three, but the long balls by Soriano were the difference. Starling Marte had two hits for the Pirates after collecting three the previous day and extended his streak to a career-high 11 games. He also had two steals, although he got caught trying to swipe third in the third inning. Pirates second baseman Neil Walker left the game because of discomfort on his right side and is day to day. Brandon Inge replaced him at second base in the fifth. Soriano put the Cubs ahead in the fourth after Anthony Rizzo doubled off the left-field wall, and he struck again with a shot in the fifth. The ball sailed to the last row of the left-field bleachers for his 12th homer this season. That gave him 32 multi-homer games in his career and two this season. He also tied Harold Baines for 59th on baseballs career home run list with 384 and took sole possession of 12th place on Chicagos list with his 175th and 176th homers as a Cub after beginning the day even with Hall of Famer Andre Dawson. "Its fun when we have a teammate swinging the bat real well," Jackson said. "Its a lot of fun in the dugout. Its positive energy and thats what this team needs." NOTES: Hurdle was a bit amused by footage showing an usher interrupting an interview with his dad by Pittsburgh broadcaster Robby Incmikoski during Fridays game. The usher told them they were blocking fans view. Hurdle said a few of his family members were upset. "Im kind of just taking the high road and chuckling about it," Hurdle said. This weekend is the Pirates annual father/son trip, where players and coaches get to bring their dads. ... The Cubs gave top prospect Javier Baez a promotion, moving him from Class A Daytona to Double-A Tennessee. The infielder was their minor league player of the month for June. "Its time for a new challenge for Javier, and I think hell respond well to it," general manager Jed Hoyer said. He also said its "highly unlikely" Baez will reach the majors this year. ... A.J. Burnett (4-6, 3.12 ERA) returns to the Pirates rotation after missing the past month with a strained right calf, and Carlos Villanueva (2-4, 3.45) starts for the Cubs on Sunday. Wholesale China Jerseys . -- Ken Appleby made 32 saves for his first shutout of the season to lead the Oshawa Generals to a 2-0 win over the Belleville Bulls on Wednesday in Ontario Hockey League action. NFL Jerseys Cheap Authentic . The players spoke Jan. 13 during a Major League Baseball Players Association conference call after Rodriguez sued the union and Major League Baseball to overturn an arbitrators decision suspending him for the 2014 season and post-season. http://www.chinanfljerseyscheaponline.com/ . Gather a group of friends, or find a league to join online, draft your team, set your lineup and compete in a number of different formats. Cheap China Jerseys . -- There were a lot of firsts for the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday night. It was a wire agency report on the fifth stage of the 1981 Tour de France that planted the seed of my interest in the race that has drawn me back for all but two of the past 30 years.That report was about Phil Anderson, then 23 and two years into his professional career on the French Peugeot team. In that fifth stage on June 30, he became the first Australian to claim the Tour leaders yellow jersey - the maillot jaune - and the first non-European to do so. As memorable as his feat, was how he claimed the yellow jersey; and then, who he beat to do it; that being, the French hero and eventual five-time Tour winner, Bernard Hinault.Richie Porte Diary - I am a contenderThe stage from Saint Gaudens to Pla dAdet in the Pyrenees was won by Belgian Lucien Van Impe. Behind Van Impe, Anderson was fighting all the way to the mountain finish with Hinault; the Australian was remarkably oblivious to the charismatic but fiery Frenchmans legendary stature.Unwittingly, Anderson even insulted Hinault, offering him a drink as they went pedal stroke for pedal stroke; Hinault swiped it to the ground, letting Anderson know how he took it.For the French media, Andersons audacity to take on Hinault, who was then a two-time Tour champion, who went on to win the 1981 race, was a major story. Anderson went on to finish 10th overall in that 1981 Tour, but his ride that day was only a sign of the things to come in a career that saw the Australian go on to finish in the top 10 five times, including fifth twice.My knowledge of the Tour then was drawn only from a slide that my French teacher at school had shown in a class one day. It was probably taken in the 1970s, of fans happily cheering the peloton from their roadside table that was laden with baguettes, cheeses and wine.But the theatre of Andersons breakthrough in the 1981 Tour -- how he, the Pauper, took on and beat Hinault, the King -- and then how his career progressed soon after that day fuelled my desire to one day go to France and actually cover the race.It also stoked hope that I would be there should Anderson win it. Anderson never became the first Australian to win the Tour, but the hope turned real in 2011, when Cadel Evans finally won it after finishing eighth on his debut in 2005, fourth in 2006 and second in 2007 and 2009; and that something in the Tour sees me returning this year for the 28th time.The Tour: The highs to the lowsStill, it has been a roller-coaster journalistic ride between my first 1987 Tour and this years 103rd edition that starts at Mont Saint Michel in Normandy on Saturday. Andersons 1981 success was the catalyst to me leaving Australia in 1987 to live in Europe for nine years, first as editor of the English edition of Winning Bicycle Racing Illustrated in Brussels and then as the European correspondent for the American publication, VeloNews.But for all the races those years living in Belgium and then France led me to -- from the one-day spring classics to week-long tours and world championships that during that time were held beyond Europe and as far away as Colombia and Japan -- the Tour was always the summit of a season. It was to cycling what the Super Bowl and grand finals are to football, but held every day for three weeks -- not counting rest day/s -- or close to four when I first covered it in 1987.Ever lasting are the memories of the Tour -- some better than others -- that I have returned to year after year writing for various publications, now including ESPN.Five key stages that could shape this years raceChief among those memories are that first 1987 Tour won by Irishman Stephen Roche, whose race diary I wrote for Winning (often with both of us sitting in the gutter in a time before the team buses of today); the 1988 race won by Pedro Delgado of Spain, who had lost to Roche the year before; and 1986 Tour winner Greg LeMond when he claimed his second and third wins - in 1989 after being shot in 1987 while turkey hunting in the U.S., when he surpassed the French race leader Laurent Fignon on the last days time-trial into Paris to win by just eight seconds. Those were memorable years. Then in 1990, the five-year reign of Miguel Indurain began, after which the dark clouds of doping rolled in and pushed the Tour into the blackest years in which many riders were caught up in drugs scandals. The scandals included expulsion from the 1998 Tour of the French Festina team for doping, the 2006 Operation Puerto drug probe, and Lance Armstrongs 2012 doping confession that saw him lose his record seven Tour titles from 1999 to 2005 and banned for life.The Tour: Cause for cheers and, sadly, tearsThe Tour has not just been about doping controversies, as much as some may argue otherwise. While skepticism about performance will likely remain as a consequence of doping in the sport, there has been plenty of cause for laughter, cheers and, sadly, tears.You cant help but laugh at some of the funny antics that can go on in a race. Likewise, at what happens among the hundreds of thousands of spectators who line the roads to watch it.dddddddddddd Their thunderous cheers reflect what the Tour is all about: Its not just a celebration of human endeavour, but also of La Belle France - her produce, terrain, culture and history.Albeit with rider safety on a rapidly thinning line, the antics of some fans increasingly draws anger. But fans are not always to blame.Who will forget the 1994 Tour when a policeman stepped out right into line of the peloton to take a photo as it sprinted to the finish of stage one into Armentières, causing a massive high-speed crash.Or in 2011 when nearing the final and most crucial kilometres of stage nine to Saint-Flour, the driver of a French television car side passed the lead five-rider break, and struck and sent Dutchman Johnny Hoogerland into a barbed wire fence and Spaniard Juan Antonio Flecha to the ground.To another extreme, there are moments of sadness in the Tour -- tragedy, too, as the 1995 Tour reminds with the death of Italian 1992 Olympic road champion Fabio Casartelli.Castartelli was just six days from earning his first Tour finish when he crashed on the descent of the Col de Portet dAspet in the Pyrenees, 30km into stage 15 from Saint Girons to Cauterets.The moment in time when then Tour race director Jean-Marie Le Blanc announced Castartellis death on race radio, after he had been evacuated to hospital by helicopter and as the stage continued on towards its finish, lasted barely 15 seconds. But LeBlancs words, in the heaviest and saddest of tones, still ring hauntingly loud for me to this day. We have some sad news to give regarding the rider, No.114, of team Motorola. Due to the injuries to the head, Casartelli has lost his life.As strong was the emotion of all in the race - from those in official, media and team cars following the race as they absorbed the shock, to the riders as they learned of Castartellis fate after being dropped and told of it. The emotion was similar a day later, on stage 16 from Tarbes to Pau that on paper was the hardest but also fell on the hottest of summer days. The peloton, taking charge of the day from organisers, produced one of the most beautiful yet heart-rending tributes for Castartelli, 24 and a married father of a baby boy, by opting to ride the stage slowly and as a virtual cortege before beckoning his Motorola teammates to ride off the front to the finish with one kilometre to go.Etched in memory, too, is the image of Casartellis Italian roommate, Andrea Peron, crossing the line first in a stage race organisers declared unofficial.As strong was the image of Casartellis bike on the Motorola team car as it drove onto the Champs élysées on the final stage into Paris -- fittingly with a black ribbon attached to it.The Tour: More than a bike raceBut as every year passes, I am reminded that covering the Tour is not just about writing about the worlds biggest bike race; from its scandals and controversies to the theatre of brazen attacks, impressive stage wins and ultimately overall glory for one when it finishes in Paris.For all, it is also about the adventure, the camaraderie among those with whom you travel in a shared car to and from the 21 stage starts and finishes and hotels in a journey that for a 3500km race can amount to 5000km by its end.It is about the banter, the blend of humour and various musical tastes, and even the personal habits -- the good and bad. Its about the over-booked hotels, closed kitchens at dinner time, the traffic jams and rollover of wearing clothes twice before washing them for the first time on a rest day. There is the test of ones patience when things go wrong, and ones ability to laugh or to take a deep breath when really you feel like screaming, especially when the normally simplest of problems seemingly become harder as the race continues; or to support a colleague whose day has gone awry.It is also about the moment you get to stop and appreciate the beauty of where you are -- especially when alone, such as the time you get to go for an early-morning run or walk in the mountains or a forest or by the coast. Likewise, there are also times you stop and appreciate how your life at times when the Tour passes or stops at some of the economically and socially deprived areas of France for logistical reasons, to fit in with the Tour route planned well in advance, yet also driven by organisers wanting to support to areas and people in need.The Tour de France may be just a bike race, and forever a dirty one to its detractors. But in the big picture, in many ways it is a microcosm of the bigger and troubled world we live in.Like human spirit, the Tour will never be free of foibles or flaws. So does that mean we abandon it? After almost 30 years of experiencing its highs and lows, I am prepared to go the distance in a race that one can love and hate, pending the day ... well, at least for now! Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys cheap jerseys Cheap Jersyes Cheap Basketball Jerseys Cheap NHL Jerseys cheap jerseys Cheap Jerseys Cheap Jerseys Cheap Jerseys From China Cheap NFL Jerseys ' ' '