Cubs edge Pirates to avoid sweepMay 30, 2011 - 1:47 AM
Aramis Ramirez hit a solo homer -- his first since April 6 -- and Ryan Dempster (4-4) gave up two runs over six innings to earn the win.
"Dempster was great," said Cubs manager Mike Quade. "It was just a good win. We played good baseball."
Jeff Karstens (3-4) was charged with three runs -- two earned -- on seven hits over five innings for the Pirates, who had lost three straight entering the weekend series.
"We're not disappointed. We went out and played a ballgame and they played better than us," said Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle. "We won the series. That was the objective coming in."
A pair of two-out walks cost Dempster in the first inning, which was delayed two hours, 34 minutes by rain.
Lyle Overbay doubled to the right-field wall to score both Andrew McCutchen and Neil Walker for the early lead, but Dempster settled down from there, allowing only three hits and one walk over his final five frames.
The Cubs got both runs back in the second, starting with Ramirez's leadoff homer to left and tying it on Koyie Hill's sacrifice fly. Carlos Pena slid in safely on the latter, injuring the ankle of Pirates catcher Ryan Doumit in the process. After the game, the Pirates ruled the injury an ankle sprain.
Chicago went ahead in its next at-bat when Fukudome led off with a double, advanced to third on Darwin Barney's sacrifice bunt and raced home on Castro's fly to right.
Chicago reliever Kerry Wood stranded two in the seventh, Sean Marshall hurled a 1-2-3 eighth and Carlos Marmol closed out the win in the ninth.
Pittsburgh threatened in its final at-bat, as Chris Snyder worked a one-out walk. Brandon Wood followed with a slow roller to short, but Castro ran in, scooped up the ball barehanded and got the out at first.
Marmol struck out Ronny Cedeno to lock up his 10th save of the season.
Ramirez's homer was just his second of the year...Pittsburgh's starting pitchers have gone 10 straight games without giving up more than two earned runs...Dempster improved to 7-11 in his career against the Pirates...The Pirates were looking for their first three-game sweep at Wrigley Field since May 5-7, 2000...Before the game, the Cubs activated catcher Geovany Soto from the 15-day disabled list and selected the contract of outfielder Brad Snyder from Triple-A Iowa, though neither played in the game...Cubs outfielder Reed Johnson was placed on the 15-day disabled list with back spasms.
- PITTSBURGH: 2
May 29 7:31 PM
- Starlin Castro sacrifice fly to right scored Kosuke Fukudome with two out. None on with two outs and Aramis Ramirez due up.
Pirates 2, Cubs 3 Bot 3, 2 OutsMay 29 5:53 PM
- Koyie Hill sacrifice fly to right scored Carlos Pena with two out. Runner on first and Ryan Dempster due up.
Pirates 2, Cubs 2 Bot 2, 2 OutsMay 29 5:31 PM
- Aramis Ramirez lead-off Home Run (2) to left. Carlos Pena due up.
Pirates 2, Cubs 1 Bot 2, 0 OutsMay 29 5:19 PM
- Lyle Overbay double to right scored Andrew McCutchen and Neil Walker with two out. Runner on second and Ryan Doumit due up.
Pirates 2, Cubs 0 Top 1, 2 OutsMay 29 5:04 PM
- PITTSBURGH: 0
Top 1, 0 Outs
May 29 4:54 PM
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