Pirates
Cubs
8 - 13 Final
  for this game

Ramirez's two three-run homers help Cubs outlast Pirates

Sep 21, 2007 - 11:25 PM CHICAGO (Ticker) -- Aramis Ramirez and the Chicago Cubs are not making their division title run easy.

Ramirez hit two three-run homers, including one that snapped a tie in the sixth inning, as the Cubs defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates, 13-8, on Friday afternoon.

Alfonso Soriano and rookie Geovany Soto also homered for Chicago (81-73), which has won four of five to take a two-game lead in the National League Central Division over the Milwaukee Brewers (78-74) with eight games left.

"We need another week of momentum," Cubs manager Lou Piniella said. "It feels good to win these games. They are all key games and clutch games and these kids are performing."

Milwaukee, which has lost two straight, faces the Atlanta Braves on Friday night.

The setback extended Pittsburgh's losing streak to seven, tying a season high.

In a game that saw 14 runs scored in the first three innings, the Cubs forged ahead three frames later.

With the contest tied at 7-7 in the bottom of the sixth, Soriano led off with a single before a fielding error by Pittsburgh second baseman Freddy Sanchez put runners on first and second.

Ramirez, who hit a three-run homer in the first off Paul Maholm, then hammered a 1-0 pitch from rookie reliever Franquelis Osoria (0-2) into the left field bleachers to give Chicago a 10-7 lead.

"Osoria has a pretty good sinker," Ramirez said. "In that situation I am trying to hit something in the air and stay out of the double play. If I don't get it done, at least someone else has an opportunity to drive in a run."

It was the 25th blast for Ramirez and capped his 19th career multi-homer effort. He has reached the 25-homer mark each of the last five seasons, and his six RBI matched his career high.

John Grabow relieved Osoria and gave up a single to Matt Murton before serving up a first-pitch homer by Soto that put the Cubs up, 12-7.

Derrek Lee, who went 3-for-5 with three runs scored, added an RBI single in the seventh to make it 13-7.

"We have only eight games left so it is getting close," Lee said. "We are in the drivers seat so if we take care of our business, we will be alright."

Xavier Nady belted a solo homer for the Pirates in the ninth to finish the scoring.

Scott Eyre (2-1), who tossed a scoreless sixth, picked up the win for Chicago.

Before the Cubs' late six-run eruption, things were hairy in the first several innings.

The Pirates took a quick lead in the first. They loaded the bases against Cubs starter Jason Marquis but were only able to squeeze out one run when rookie Nyjer Morgan crossed the plate on a grounder by Nady.

The Cubs came roaring back in the bottom of the frame as Soriano hit his 10th leadoff homer of the season. Mark DeRosa was hit by a pitch and Lee singled to right before Ramirez deposited a 2-1 pitch into the seats in left, giving Chicago a 4-1 lead.

After the Pirates scored a run in the second on a single by Morgan, Lee scored on a throwing error by former Cubs shortstop Cesar Izturis in the bottom of the inning to make it 5-2.

"Izturis came out of the game with numbness in the last two fingers on his throwing hand," Pirates Manager Jim Tracy said. "The ball he threw that got away has to do with his ulnar nerve. As a result, we had to remove him from the game."

However, the Pirates erupted for five runs in the third to surge ahead. Nady plated the first run with a groundout and Jose Bautista followed with a run-scoring double.

Ronny Paulino forged a 5-5 tie with an RBI single and scored on Izturis' triple. Will Ohman came on for Marquis to face Maholm, who helped his own cause with a bunt single that plated Izturis for a 7-5 advantage.

Marquis lasted just 2 2/3 innings, allowing a season-high seven runs, eight hits and two walks.

"He was up in the strike zone all day," Piniella said. "His best pitch is the sinker, he wasn't able to command it."

The Cubs rallied in the bottom of the third to knot the contest at 7-7. Pinch hitter Ronny Cedeno delivered an RBI single with the bases loaded that spelled the end for Maholm. Osoria entered and retired the first two batters he faced before uncorking a wild pitch that allowed Craig Monroe to score the tying run.

Maholm struggled just as much as Marquis, allowing seven runs - six earned - and 10 hits while walking a season-high six in two-plus frames.

"The wind was blowing out and his ball was not in the strike zone, "Tracy said. "When the ball was in strike zone, it was in the middle part of the plate and they hit it."

Osoria, who allowed three runs in 3 1/3 innings, fell to 0-6 lifetime.

"We didn't play well defensively today," Tracy said. "We gave them six runs. If we don't do that, we put ourselves in a position to win."








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    PITTSBURGH 1 1 5 0 0 0 0 0 1 8 12 3
    CHICAGO CUBS 4 1 2 0 0 5 1 0 x 13 16 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: PIT - PAUL MAHOLM, FRANQUELIS OSORIA (3RD), JOHN GRABOW (6TH), BRYAN
    BULLINGTON (7TH), JUAN PEREZ (8TH) AND RONNY PAULINO
    CHN - JASON MARQUIS, WILL OHMAN (3RD), KEV

    Sep 21 5:19 PM


  • NL
    AT CHICAGO CUBS - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY XAVIER NADY (19) TO LEFT WITH 1 OUT IN THE
    9TH OFF RYAN DEMPSTER.
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 8, CHICAGO CUBS 13
    DUE UP FOR PITTSBURGH: J BAUTISTA (.258, 1-FOR-3, BB, RBI)

    Pirates vs. CubsSep 21 5:13 PM


  • NL
    AT CHICAGO CUBS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY DERREK LEE SCORED MARK DEROSA.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, D LEE ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 7
    CHICAGO CUBS 13 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: A RAMIREZ (.314, 2-FOR-4, 2 HR, 6 RBI)

    Pirates vs. CubsSep 21 4:53 PM


  • NL
    AT CHICAGO CUBS - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY GEOVANY SOTO (3) TO LEFT CENTER WITH 1
    OUT IN THE 6TH OFF JOHN GRABOW SCORED MATT MURTON.
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 7, CHICAGO CUBS 12
    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: F PIE (.213, 0-FOR-1)

    Pirates vs. CubsSep 21 4:34 PM


  • NL
    AT CHICAGO CUBS - SCORING UPDATE
    THREE-RUN HOME RUN BY ARAMIS RAMIREZ (25) TO LEFT WITH 1
    OUT IN THE 6TH OFF FRANQUELIS OSORIA SCORED ALFONSO SORIANO AND
    DERREK LEE.
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 7, CHICAGO CUBS 10
    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: M MURTON (.272, 1-FOR-3)

    Pirates vs. CubsSep 21 4:31 PM


  • NL
    AT CHICAGO CUBS - SCORING UPDATE
    WILD PITCH BY FRANQUELIS OSORIA ALLOWED CRAIG MONROE TO
    SCORE.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, R CEDENO ON FIRST, R THERIOT ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 7
    CHICAGO CUBS 7 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: D LEE (.313, 2-FOR-2)

    Pirates vs. CubsSep 21 3:43 PM


  • NL
    AT CHICAGO CUBS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY RONNY CEDENO SCORED GEOVANY SOTO.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, R CEDENO ON FIRST, R THERIOT ON SECOND, C
    MONROE ON THIRD, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 7
    CHICAGO CUBS 6 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: A SORIANO (.293, 1-FOR-2, HR, RBI)

    Pirates vs. CubsSep 21 3:34 PM


  • NL
    AT CHICAGO CUBS - SCORING UPDATE
    BUNT SINGLE BY PAUL MAHOLM SCORED CESAR IZTURIS.
    SITUATION: 5 RUNS IN, P MAHOLM ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 7
    CHICAGO CUBS 5 TOP, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR PITTSBURGH: N MORGAN (.278, 2-FOR-2, RBI)

    Pirates vs. CubsSep 21 3:23 PM


  • NL
    AT CHICAGO CUBS - SCORING UPDATE
    TRIPLE BY CESAR IZTURIS SCORED RONNY PAULINO.
    SITUATION: 4 RUNS IN, C IZTURIS ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 6
    CHICAGO CUBS 5 TOP, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR PITTSBURGH: P MAHOLM (.172, 0-FOR-1)

    Pirates vs. CubsSep 21 3:19 PM


  • NL
    AT CHICAGO CUBS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY RONNY PAULINO SCORED JOSE BAUTISTA.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, R PAULINO ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 5
    CHICAGO CUBS 5 TOP, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR PITTSBURGH: C IZTURIS (.256, 1-FOR-1)

    Pirates vs. CubsSep 21 3:18 PM


  • NL
    AT CHICAGO CUBS - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY JOSE BAUTISTA SCORED ADAM LAROCHE.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, J BAUTISTA ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 4
    CHICAGO CUBS 5 TOP, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR PITTSBURGH: R PAULINO (.262, 0-FOR-1)

    Pirates vs. CubsSep 21 3:17 PM


  • NL
    AT CHICAGO CUBS - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND OUT BY XAVIER NADY SCORED NATE MCLOUTH.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, A LAROCHE ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 3
    CHICAGO CUBS 5 TOP, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR PITTSBURGH: J BAUTISTA (.257, 0-FOR-1)

    Pirates vs. CubsSep 21 3:16 PM


  • NL
    AT CHICAGO CUBS - SCORING UPDATE
    ERROR BY CESAR IZTURIS ALLOWED DERREK LEE TO SCORE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, A RAMIREZ ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 2
    CHICAGO CUBS 5 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: M MURTON (.274, 1-FOR-1)

    Pirates vs. CubsSep 21 3:07 PM


  • NL
    AT CHICAGO CUBS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY NYJER MORGAN SCORED CESAR IZTURIS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, N MORGAN ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 2
    CHICAGO CUBS 4 TOP, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR PITTSBURGH: N MCLOUTH (.255, 0-FOR-0, BB)

    Pirates vs. CubsSep 21 2:58 PM


  • NL
    AT CHICAGO CUBS - SCORING UPDATE
    THREE-RUN HOME RUN BY ARAMIS RAMIREZ (24) TO LEFT WITH 0
    OUT IN THE 1ST OFF PAUL MAHOLM SCORED MARK DEROSA AND DERREK LEE.
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 1, CHICAGO CUBS 4
    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: M MURTON (.271, 7 HR, 21 RBI)

    Pirates vs. CubsSep 21 2:40 PM


  • NL
    AT CHICAGO CUBS
    CONFIRMED STARTERS: PIT - PAUL MAHOLM
    CHN - JASON MARQUIS

    Pirates vs. CubsSep 21 2:34 PM


  • NL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    PITTSBURGH 1 1 1 0
    CHICAGO CUBS 0 0 0 (BOT 1)

    CURRENT PITCHERS: PIT - PAUL MAHOLM
    CHN - JASON MARQUIS

    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: A SORIANO (.292, 28 HR, 59 RBI)
    M DEROSA (.297, 10 HR, 71 RBI)
    D LEE (.310, 18 HR, 74 RB

    Pirates vs. CubsSep 21 2:32 PM