Cubs rally to top free-falling PiratesAug 5, 2011 - 4:29 AM
Blake DeWitt hit a two-run home run while Carlos Pena added a solo shot and two RBI for the Cubs, who have won a season-high five straight and swept a four-game set in Pittsburgh for the first time since June 5-7, 1959.
Rodrigo Lopez lasted just four innings in the start and gave up six runs on seven hits with two walks. Jeff Samardzija (6-4) got the win for throwing the seventh inning.
James McDonald pitched seven innings and gave up four runs on four hits and added a bases-clearing double for the Pirates, who have dropped a season-high seven straight games. Garrett Jones had two doubles and a run scored while Daniel McCutchen (3-3) was tagged with the loss for giving up three runs in the eighth without recording an out.
"I felt good out there but the things I tried didn't really work," said McCutchen. "Outings like that happen. I hate it when they do, but it happened."
The free-fall continues for Pittsburgh as the team has now dropped two games below .500 after a stint in first place in the NL Central over several days in July.
A six-run fourth inning had given the Pirates the lead, but things fell apart when their bullpen was called to the mound in the eighth.
McCutchen started on the mound and didn't get an out as he gave up consecutive singles then hit Darwin Barney to load the bases. Jason Grilli then took the mound and Aramis Ramirez punched a single to center to score a run.
That brought out Joe Beimel, who walked Pena to force in the tying run before Jose Veras took the mound and Byrd lifted a sacrifice fly to left for a 7-6 lead. Veras was able to get DeWitt to pop out and Geovany Soto to strike out to limit the damage.
James Russell got Pedro Alvarez to ground out to start the bottom of the eighth, but Ryan Doumit followed with a single. Kerry Wood then took the mound and struck out pinch-hitter Matt Diaz on three pitches before getting Brandon Wood to fly out and end the inning.
"It was obviously a great series. Especially to come back and win this tonight after getting on the board early, everybody picking up Rodrigo and everybody doing their job in the 'pen. That's how you win games. The eighth inning was fun to watch," Cubs manager Mike Quade said.
Carlos Marmol pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his 23rd save of the season.
Soto led off the third with his 11th home run of the season and the Cubs got three more runs thanks to the long ball in the fourth. With two outs, Pena drilled the first pitch he saw into the bushes in center field. After Byrd singled, DeWitt crushed a pitch over the right field wall for a 4-0 lead.
The Pirates, though, exploded for six runs in the fourth. Jones led off with a double and moved to third on a Neil Walker groundout. Ryan Ludwick then singled home Jones and singles from Alvarez and Doumit loaded the bases. Xavier Paul hit a chopper to third that was a potential double play, but he hustled down the line and beat the throw to first to score a run and keep the inning alive.
That proved fortunate as Brandon Wood walked to load the bases and McDonald hit a double to the gap in left-center that cleared the bases. Andrew McCutchen followed with a double for a 6-4 lead.
It was the third six-run inning for the Pirates this season...Andrew McCutchen has reached base safely in 28 straight games against the Cubs...Chicago now leads the season series, 7-6...It was Chicago's first four-game sweep of Pittsburgh since June 6-9, 1985 at Wrigley Field.
- CHICAGO: 7
Aug 4 9:59 PM
- Marlon Byrd sacrifice fly out to left scored Darwin Barney with one out. On the play, Aramis Ramirez advances to third. Runners on first and third and Blake DeWitt due up.
Cubs 7, Pirates 6 Top 8, 1 OutAug 4 9:29 PM
- Carlos Pena walked. Starlin Castro scored on the play. Bases loaded with none out and Marlon Byrd due up.
Cubs 6, Pirates 6 Top 8, 0 OutsAug 4 9:24 PM
- Aramis Ramirez single to center scored Reed Johnson with none out. On the play, Darwin Barney advances to second and Starlin Castro advances to third. Bases loaded and Carlos Pena due up.
Cubs 5, Pirates 6 Top 8, 0 OutsAug 4 9:17 PM
- Andrew McCutchen double to center scored James McDonald with two outs. Runner on second and Garrett Jones due up.
Cubs 4, Pirates 6 Bot 4, 2 OutsAug 4 8:14 PM
- James McDonald double to center scored Pedro Alvarez, Xavier Paul and Brandon Wood with two outs. Runner on second and Andrew McCutchen due up.
Cubs 4, Pirates 5 Bot 4, 2 OutsAug 4 8:13 PM
- Xavier Paul grounded into a fielder's choice, third to second that scored Ryan Ludwick with two outs. Ryan Doumit out at second. Pedro Alvarez advances to third. Runners on first and third and Brandon Wood due up.
Cubs 4, Pirates 2 Bot 4, 2 OutsAug 4 8:09 PM
- Ryan Ludwick single to center scored Garrett Jones with one out. Runner on first with Pedro Alvarez due up.
Cubs 4, Pirates 1 Bot 4, 1 OutAug 4 8:04 PM
- Blake DeWitt two-out, two-run Home Run (3) to right scored Marlon Byrd. Geovany Soto due up.
Cubs 4, Pirates 0 Top 4, 2 OutsAug 4 7:53 PM
- Carlos Pena two-out, solo Home Run (21) to center. Marlon Byrd due up.
Cubs 2, Pirates 0 Top 4, 2 OutsAug 4 7:49 PM
- Geovany Soto lead-off Home Run (11) to left. Tyler Colvin due up.
Cubs 1, Pirates 0 Top 3, 0 OutsAug 4 7:30 PM
- CHICAGO: 0
Top 1, 0 Outs
Aug 4 7:05 PM
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