Lee homers twice, but Pirates fall to CubsAug 2, 2011 - 4:54 AM
Later, he popped a Kerry Wood fastball over the wall in right-center for a two-run blast in the eighth.
Each time, Pirates fans at PNC Park stood and welcomed Lee warmly to what baseball fans in the Pittsburgh area have been waiting 19 long years for.
A playoff push.
Unfortunately for all of them, it didn't begin Monday night.
Lee homered off two former teammates in his Pirates debut, but Zambrano and the Chicago Cubs held on for a 5-3 win in the opener of a four-game series.
The Cubs captured their second straight victory on the heels of an 0-5 start to their 10-game road trip.
The Pirates, trying desperately to remain in the race for the NL Central after being swept by Philadelphia over the weekend, lost their fourth straight game to fall just one game over .500 for the season.
Lee, who played six-plus seasons for the Cubs in the prime of his 15-year career, started at first base against his former team after the Pirates acquired him from Baltimore on Saturday for a minor leaguer.
He knocked in all three Pittsburgh runs as part of a 10-hit outburst, but the Pirates played catch-up all night and never held a lead.
"Usually you get one shot to make a first impression. He made a pretty good first impression on a lot of people here tonight," said Pirates manager Clint Hurdle.
Zambrano (8-6) labored through six innings, giving up seven hits and throwing 114 pitches, but Lee's homer counted as the only run he allowed. He struck out five, walked three and hit a single.
Starlin Castro had three of Chicago's seven hits and scored a run for the Cubs, while five different players had an RBI in the win.
"We knew we had our hands full tonight," Cubs third baseman Jeff Baker said. "We just had to battle and fight, and we played a pretty good game,"
Neil Walker and Pedro Alvarez joined Lee with two hits apiece for the Pirates. Ryan Ludwick, who was acquired from San Diego prior to Sunday's trade deadline and also made his Pittsburgh debut, started in left field and was 0-for-3 with a walk.
Paul Maholm (6-11) took the loss after giving up four runs on six hits in six innings.
Hitting fourth, Lee struck out in his first at-bat and stranded a runner in the first inning. His homer with one out in the fourth tied the game at 1-1 and was the first hit surrendered by Zambrano.
The Pirates got two-out singles from Alvarez and Ronny Cedeno, but Zambrano picked Alvarez off at second base to end the inning.
Maholm inadvertently killed a potential rally in the fifth when the Pirates starter, leaning for a lead at first base, stepped in front of Garrett Jones' grounder and was called out to end the inning.
The Cubs, who had scored their first run on Baker's sacrifice fly in the third inning, rallied for three more in the sixth to take a 4-1 lead.
Castro and Baker led off with back-to-back singles and Geovany Soto delivered an RBI double to deep left for the first run. Maholm intentionally walked Marlon Byrd to load the bases, but the second run came home when Alfonso Soriano grounded into a force out. Carlos Pena added a sac fly to cap the rally.
Walker and Alvarez singled in the bottom of the sixth, bringing the tying run to the plate for Pittsburgh with two outs. But Cedeno was unable to beat out his infield grounder with a head-first slide, ending the threat.
In the eighth, Walker doubled to set the table for Lee, who knocked Wood's 1-0 pitch over the wall for his 14th homer of the season to get the Pirates within a run.
"We feel confident he'll be a good addition to stabilize the middle of the lineup," said Hurdle.
But the Cubs tacked on a run in the ninth in their second inning facing Daniel McCutchen. After Pena walked and was thrown out at second base on Darwin Barney's bunt, Reed Johnson doubled over Ludwick's head in left field to score Barney and make it 5-3.
Carlos Marmol faced the minimum in the bottom of the frame to earn his 21st save of the year.
The Pirates made room on the roster for Lee by designating Lyle Overbay for assignment on Monday. They cleared space for Ludwick by optioning infielder Pedro Ciriaco to Triple-A Indianapolis...Maholm struck out three and walked three. He is 0-2 in his last four starts...Jason Grilli pitched a perfect seventh for Pittsburgh...The Pirates started a seven-game homestand after going 2-5 on a road trip.
- CHICAGO: 5
Aug 1 10:01 PM
- Reed Johnson doubled to left scored Darwin Barney. Runner on second with two outs and Starlin Castro due up.
Cubs 5, Pirates 3 Top 9, 2 OutsAug 1 9:50 PM
- Derrek Lee none-out, two-run Home Run (2) to right center scored Neil Walker. Ryan Ludwick due up.
Cubs 4, Pirates 3 Bot 8, 0 OutsAug 1 9:34 PM
- Carlos Pena sacrifice flied out to left scored Geovany Soto. Runner on first with two outs and Darwin Barney due up.
Cubs 4, Pirates 1 Top 6, 2 OutsAug 1 8:50 PM
- Alfonso Soriano grounded into a fielder's choice, short to second scored Jeff Baker. Marlon Byrd out at second. Geovany Soto advances to third. Runners on first and third with one out and Carlos Pena due up.
Cubs 3, Pirates 1 Top 6, 1 OutAug 1 8:47 PM
- Geovany Soto singled to left scored Starlin Castro. On the play, Jeff Baker advances to third. Runners on first and third with none out and Marlon Byrd due up.
Cubs 2, Pirates 1 Top 6, 0 OutsAug 1 8:43 PM
- Derrek Lee one-out, solo Home Run (1) to left. Ryan Ludwick due up.
Cubs 1, Pirates 1 Bot 4, 1 OutAug 1 8:13 PM
- Jeff Baker sacrifice flied out to left scored Reed Johnson. Runner on second with two outs and Geovany Soto due up.
Cubs 1, Pirates 0 Top 3, 2 OutsAug 1 7:47 PM
- CHICAGO: 0
Top 1, 0 Outs
Aug 1 7:05 PM
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