Cubs rally in the eighth to take down PittsburghApr 3, 2011 - 12:11 AM
Starlin Castro went 2-for-4 with an RBI and run scored for the Cubs, who lost, 6-3, in the season opener on Friday. Alfonso Soriano drove in a run and scored.
Carlos Zambrano went six-plus innings in the start, allowing three runs on five hits. He also had four strikeouts and three walks before leaving in the seventh with cramping in his right hand.
"I thought he threw the ball well. He did a good job," Cubs manager Mike Quade said of Zambrano. "I thought he handled himself well."
Sean Marshall (1-0) tossed a perfect eighth to pick up the win. Carlos Marmol struck out the side in the ninth to pick up his first save of the season.
Garrett Jones hit a solo homer for the Pirates, who got an RBI apiece from Pedro Alvarez and Neil Walker.
Paul Maholm, who endured his worst season in the majors last year with a 9-15 record and 5.10 ERA, pitched 6 2/3 scoreless frames. The left-hander gave up five hits to go with three strikeouts and two walks.
Holding a 3-0 lead, the Pirates brought in Evan Meek (0-1) from the bullpen to begin the home eighth. Meek was exactly what Chicago needed after being shut down by Maholm and Jose Veras.
Pinch-hitter Kosuke Fukudome walked, advanced to second on a wild pitch and scored on Castro's double to right. Marlon Byrd then hit a routine grounder to first, but Lyle Overbay misplayed the ball, allowing Castro to score to make it a 3-2 game.
Geovany Soto singled two batters later to put men on first and second with one out. Following the second out of the inning, Soriano hit an RBI single to center. Chris Resop took over on the mound for Meek, but his luck was no different. He walked Tyler Colvin to load the bases and gave up the two-run double to DeWitt.
"I didn't make good pitches when I needed to," Meek said. "I didn't make very smart pitches. Not smart locations. It was just an off-day for me."
Marmol did his job in the ninth to give Chicago its first victory of the season.
Pittsburgh got on the board in the first inning. Jose Tabata and Overbay walked around a pair of outs. Alvarez then singled to right to score Tabata, but Zambrano got Ryan Doumit to ground out to limit the damage.
The Pirates tacked on another run in the third, when Tabata led off with an infield single and Walker followed with a double to center. Andrew McCutchen then walked, but Pittsburgh couldn't capitalize for more runs.
The last batter Zambrano faced was Jones, who led off the seventh with a homer to right for a 3-0 game. While pitching to Ronny Cedeno, Zambrano was forced to leave.
"It's nice to come back and win a game. A lot of people contributed today," Quade said.
Pittsburgh won 10 of its 15 games versus Chicago last year, taking five of nine in the Windy City...Zambrano had an interesting 2010 season. After a wildly inconsistent first couple of months, Zambrano had a dugout blowup at U.S. Cellular Field which led to a suspension, anger management classes and a demotion to the bullpen. The Venezuelan right-hander returned to the rotation with success, though, going 8-0 over his final 11 starts with a 1.41 ERA. He ended the year 11-6 with a 3.33 ERA...The Cubs went 3-for-13 with runners in scoring position and left eight men on base.
- PITTSBURGH: 3
Apr 2 3:58 PM
- Pinch-Hitter Blake DeWitt doubled to left scoring Geovany Soto and Alfonso Soriano with two out. Runners on second and third with Kosuke Fukudome due up.
Pirates 3, Cubs 5 Bot 8, 2 OutsApr 2 3:50 PM
- Alfonso Soriano singled to center scoring Marlon Byrd with two out. Runners on first and third with Tyler Colvin due up.
Pirates 3, Cubs 3 Bot 8, 2 OutsApr 2 3:43 PM
- Aramis Ramirez flied out to left. Runner on first with one out and Geovany Soto due up.
Pirates 3, Cubs 2 Bot 8, 1 OutApr 2 3:32 PM
- Starlin Castro doubled to right scoring Kosuke Fukudome with none out. Runner on second and Marlon Byrd due up.
Pirates 3, Cubs 1 Bot 8, 0 OutsApr 2 3:28 PM
- Garrett Jones lead-off Home Run (1) to right. Ronny Cedeno due up.
Pirates 3, Cubs 0 Top 7, 0 OutsApr 2 2:44 PM
- Neil Walker doubled to center scoring Jose Tabata with none out. Runner on second and Andrew McCutchen due up.
Pirates 2, Cubs 0 Top 3, 0 OutsApr 2 1:39 PM
- Pedro Alvarez singled to right scoring Jose Tabata with two out. Runners on first and third with Ryan Doumit due up.
Pirates 1, Cubs 0 Top 1, 2 OutsApr 2 1:16 PM
- Jose Tabata walked. Runner on first with none out and Neil Walker due up.
Apr 2 1:07 PM
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