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Cubs at their best after 7-0 homestand

The Friendly Confines never have seemed friendlier, and that's a big reason why the Cubs are the best team in baseball entering June for the first time in 100 years.

The Friendly Confines never have seemed friendlier, and that's a big reason why the Cubs are the best team in baseball entering June for the first time in 100 years.

Alfonso Soriano homered, Jim Edmonds drove in two runs, and the Chicago Cubs beat the reeling Colorado Rockies yesterday, 5-3, to complete a perfect seven-game homestand at Wrigley Field.

The Cubs entered June with the best record in baseball (36-21) for the first time since 1908, when they last won a World Series. They started the new month by finishing a four-game sweep of the defending National League champions and sending them to their seventh straight loss.

Chicago is 26-8 at Wrigley Field after wrapping up its first perfect homestand of at least seven games since April 14-26, 1970. Now they'll try to establish some momentum away from home.

The road has been far less friendly, and one concern is that they've played 11 more games at home than they have on the road.

"At the end of the day, you should play better at home," second baseman Mark DeRosa said. "I just think the splits and the numbers get skewed. We've only been on the road two or three times. You run into one bad road trip, it looks worse than it is."

The Cubs play 23 of their next 32 games on the road, where they are 10-13 heading into a seven-game trip to San Diego and Los Angeles.

"We'll get a pretty good gauge of where we're at," manager Lou Piniella said.

Meanwhile, the injury-plagued Rockies are showing no signs of a turnaround. They're 20-37 after their 16th loss in 21 games and are 17 games below .500 for the first time since they finished the 2005 season 67-95.

Chicago rookie Sean Gallagher (3-1) dominated them at times, allowing three runs and six hits while striking out a career-high eight batters in 5 2/3 innings.

In other games:

* At New York, Johan Santana pitched into the eighth to earn his 100th win, Carlos Beltran and Ryan Church each hit a two-run homer during a big third inning and the Mets beat Los Angeles, 6-1, for their third win in the four-game series.

* At Cincinnati, Ken Griffey Jr. remained one homer shy of 600, but Jay Bruce had a solo shot and a run-scoring single to lead the Reds to a 6-2 victory. Griffey singled, doubled and flied out.

* At Phoenix, Dan Haren (6-4) tossed seven sharp innings and Orlando Hudson hit a three-run homer to lead Arizona to a 5-0 win over Washington.

Haren gave up four hits, walked three and struck out five.

* At Milwaukee, Ryan Braun and Russell Branyan hit two-run homers and the Brewers finished off a sweep of the weekend series with a 10-1 win over Houston.

* At St. Louis, Braden Looper continued his torrid hitting to help earn a win in a 7-4 victory over Pittsburgh. Looper (7-4) had two singles, scored twice and drove in a run to raise his batting average to .429 - tops among pitchers in the majors.

* At San Francisco, Fred Lewis hit a two-run, game-tying pinch-hit triple off Trevor Hoffman (0-4) in the 10th inning and scored the winning run on Jose Castillo's infield single as the Giants beat San Diego, 4-3.


* San Diego pitcher Mark Prior will undergo season-ending surgery on his injured right shoulder, the latest medical setback to a once-promising career.

Prior has not pitched in the majors since Aug. 10, 2006.

He had been trying to make a comeback with his hometown Padres this season, but his rehab was shut down at extended spring training about 2 weeks ago when he had more soreness in the shoulder. Prior, 27, had surgery on the same shoulder in April 2007 while with the Cubs. *