6 - 3 Final
  for this game

Pirates open with win, double up Cubs

Apr 2, 2011 - 1:31 AM Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - Neil Walker hit his first career grand slam as the Pittsburgh Pirates defeated the Chicago Cubs, 6-3, in the season opener for both teams at Wrigley Field.

Andrew McCutchen slugged a two-run homer for the Pirates, who started the 2011 season off on the right foot as they try to avoid a 19th straight losing season. It was also a fresh start for new skipper Clint Hurdle, who replaced John Russell during the offseason.

Kevin Correia (1-0) won his first-ever Opening Day assignment, allowing three runs -- two earned -- on seven hits in six innings.

Starlin Castro had three hits and scored twice for the Cubs, who saw Mike Quade manage his first Opening Day. He is back this season after leading Chicago to a 24-13 finish in 2010 after replacing Lou Piniella on August 23 following former manager's abrupt retirement.

Kosuke Fukudome, Aramis Ramirez and Darwin Barney each had two hits in the loss. Veteran Ryan Dempster ended Carlos Zambrano's eight-year run as Opening Day starter for the Cubs. Dempster (0-1) surrendered six runs on six hits in 6 2/3 innings of work to take the loss.

Castro scored from first on third baseman Pedro Alvarez's throwing error to plate the Cubs' first run of the season during the bottom of the first inning. Alvarez had a rough inning in the field as Castro reached first with a sizzling grounder to the third baseman, who could only knock it down.

The Cubs had a golden opportunity to blow the game open with the bases loaded and just one out in the third inning. But they could only cash in one run when Carlos Pena, who Chicago acquired during the offseason, plated Castro with a ground out to second base to make it 2-0. Correia, though, worked out of the inning, forcing a grounder to the left side of the field.

Dempster had some control problems during the fifth which proved costly. After walking two, the veteran pitcher found himself with the bases loaded and worked the count full to Walker, who then sent a booming shot into the right field seats for a 4-2 lead.

"We didn't have much going on at that point," Hurdle said. "We had four zeros on the board. We were disciplined at the plate to get some runners on and Neil was able to get the ball on the barrel."

The Pirates extended their lead to 6-2 in the seventh on McCutchen's home run, which also plated Walker, who got on base with a line-drive double into right field.

"Of course that grand slam hurt us," Dempster said. "But that second home run really hurt us."

Chicago threatened in the seventh when Fukudome's liner to left field scored Barney, cutting the lead to 6-3. They had the tying run at the plate two batters later, but Jose Veras came in to force two fly balls to end the threat.

The Cubs also had the potential game-winning run at the plate in the ninth, but Joel Hanrahan had two strike outs to collect the save.

Game Notes

Dempster fell to 102-103 for his career...Walker finished with two hits...The Cubs finished 75-87 last season and missed the postseason for the second straight year...The Pirates ended 57-105 last season for an MLB-record 18th straight year with a losing record.

    CHICAGO: 3

    Apr 1 5:29 PM

    CHICAGO: 3
    Bot 7, 1 Out

    Pirates 6, Cubs 3  Bot 7, 1 OutApr 1 4:38 PM

    CHICAGO: 2
    Top 7, 2 Outs

    Pirates 6, Cubs 2  Top 7, 2 OutsApr 1 4:22 PM

    CHICAGO: 2
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    Apr 1 4:16 PM
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    Pirates 4, Cubs 2  Mid 5Apr 1 3:46 PM

    CHICAGO: 2
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    Pirates 4, Cubs 2  Top 5, 2 OutsApr 1 3:44 PM

    CHICAGO: 2
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    Apr 1 3:16 PM

    CHICAGO: 2
    Bot 3, 2 Outs

    Pirates 0, Cubs 2  Bot 3, 2 OutsApr 1 3:14 PM

    CHICAGO: 1
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    Pirates 0, Cubs 1  Bot 1, 1 OutApr 1 2:38 PM

    CHICAGO: 0
    Bot 1

    Apr 1 2:30 PM
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    Pirates vs. CubsMar 31 2:29 PM