5 - 4 Final
  for this game

Alvarez gives Pirates series in Chicago

Apr 3, 2011 - 11:31 PM Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - Pedro Alvarez's two-run infield single in the top of the ninth lifted the Pittsburgh Pirates over the Chicago Cubs, 5-4, in the rubber match of a three-game series.

Alvarez finished 3-for-5 with three RBI and a run scored for the Pirates, who won just four road series all of last season. Two of them, though, came in Chicago.

Ross Ohlendorf, who was just 1-11 last year, gave up four runs on eight hits over six innings. He also walked four batters. Jeff Karstens (1-0) pitched a perfect eighth inning to get the win.

Alfonso Soriano hit a solo homer for the Cubs, who got a two-run double from Carlos Pena.

"I don't want to let the end result take away from the good things," Pena said.

Matt Garza gave up three runs on 12 hits over seven full frames in his Cubs debut. He also had 12 strikeouts and no walks. Garza was acquired from the Rays as part of an eight-player trade in January. He was 15-10 with a 3.91 earned-run average in 33 games for the Rays last season, including a no-hitter on July 26.

Holding a 4-3 lead, Chicago brought on Carlos Marmol (0-1) to close out the game in the top of ninth. Marmol ran into trouble quickly, walking Garrett Jones and giving up a single to Neil Walker. Lyle Overbay grounded out to move the runners up a base. Alvarez hit a grounder past a diving Marmol and to shortstop Starlin Castro, who threw to first. His throw was low and off the mark, which allowed the tying and eventual winning run to score.

"Good piece of hitting by Pedro to just put the ball in play," Walker said.

The Cubs came close to tying the game in the home portion of the ninth. Joel Hanrahan gave up a one-out single to Castro. Darwin Barney then hit a grounder to shortstop Ronny Cedeno, whose throw to second sailed into right field. The error put runners on the corners. But Hanrahan got Marlon Byrd to ground into a double play for his second save of the season.

The Pirates, who had 16 hits in the game, accumulated many hits over the first few innings, but had little to show for it. Cedeno and Alvarez hit RBI singles in the second and third, respectively, to give Pittsburgh an early 2-0 edge.

But Chicago got both runs back in the fourth. Barney, Byrd and Aramis Ramirez all singled to load the bases with nobody out. Pena then drove in two runs with a double to right.

Each team scored once in the fifth. Overbay had an RBI single in the top half for the Pirates, while Barney had a sac fly in the bottom half.

Soriano broke the 3-3 tie with a solo shot to left-center in the sixth.

Kerry Wood took over on the mound for the Cubs in the eighth and loaded the bases with one out. Jose Tabata flied out to right fielder Tyler Colvin, whose strong throw home was good enough to get the runner at the plate.

Game Notes

Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen was scratched from the lineup because of a stiff neck...Walker has hit safely in all 12 of his career games against the Cubs...Garza made his first-ever start against the Pirates...Pittsburgh left 10 men on base.

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    Pirates 5, Cubs 4  FinalApr 5 12:34 PM

    CHICAGO: 4

    Apr 3 5:10 PM

  • Pedro Alvarez single to short scored Garrett Jones and Neil Walker. Runner on first with one out and Matt Diaz due up.

    Pirates 5, Cubs 4  Top 9, 1 OutApr 3 5:04 PM
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    Pirates 5, Cubs 4  Top 9, 1 OutApr 3 5:04 PM
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    Pirates 3, Cubs 4  Top 7, 1 OutApr 3 4:26 PM

  • Alfonso Soriano lead-off Home Run (1) to left center. Tyler Colvin due up.

    Pirates 3, Cubs 4  Bot 6, 0 OutsApr 3 4:18 PM

  • Darwin Barney sacrifice fly out to left scored Starlin Castro. None on with one out and Marlon Byrd due up.

    Pirates 3, Cubs 3  Bot 5, 1 OutApr 3 4:01 PM

  • Pedro Alvarez flied out to right. Runners on second and third with two outs and Matt Diaz due up.

    Pirates 3, Cubs 2  Top 5, 2 OutsApr 3 3:53 PM

  • Carlos Pena double to right scored Darwin Barney and Marlon Byrd. Runners on second and third with none out and Geovany Soto due up.

    Pirates 2, Cubs 2  Bot 4, 0 OutsApr 3 3:34 PM

  • Pedro Alvarez single to center scored Jose Tabata. Runners on first and second with two outs and Matt Diaz due up.

    Pirates 2, Cubs 0  Top 3, 2 OutsApr 3 3:07 PM

  • Ronny Cedeno single to right scored Pedro Alvarez. Runners on first and third with two outs and Ross Ohlendorf due up.

    Pirates 1, Cubs 0  Top 2, 2 OutsApr 3 2:46 PM

  • Jose Tabata singled to center. Runner on first with none out and Garrett Jones due up.

    Apr 3 2:26 PM
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    Pirates vs. CubsMar 31 2:29 PM