Cubs
Pirates
7 - 3 Final
  for this game

Five-run sixth helps Cubs sweep Pirates

Apr 11, 2008 - 3:39 AM By Chris Adamski PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

PITTSBURGH (Ticker) - Geovany Soto and Jon Lieber made sure the Chicago Cubs didn't have to work overtime to get this victory.

Soto went 4-for-5, including a two-run home run, and Lieber pitched 4 1/3 scoreless innings out of the bullpen as the Cubs won their fifth in a row with a 7-3 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday night.

Mike Fontenot also homered for Chicago, which completed a three-game sweep of the Pirates - with the first two games coming in 12 and 15 innings, respectively.

"I'm glad this didn't go (extra innings)," said Soto after the second four-hit game of his career. "I felt really, really good out there today. From the first at bat, I was staying through the ball, hitting it the other way. It felt really good to be able to contribute when the team wins."

Lieber (2-1) rescued the Cubs, who got only three innings out of starter Rich Hill and were operating with a severely depleted bullpen after playing 27 innings and using a combined 14 pitchers in the first two games of the series. The ex-Pirate shut down his former team, allowing only five hits and no walks with one strikeout.

"Without him, we would have been in trouble," Chicago manager Lou Piniella said. "We were looking for innings."

"I was just going out there trying to do my job the best I can," Lieber said. "Anytime you're in a situation like that, when anybody can go in there and do that, it's definitely huge. It gives those guys a break now, especially after (Wednesday) night."

The Cubs jumped to an early lead against Pirates starter Matt Morris (0-1) as Derrek Lee's groundout in the top of the first scored Alfonso Soriano. But Pittsburgh answered in the bottom of the inning as Freddy Sanchez plated Nate McLouth with a single.

Sanchez's hit snapped an 0-for-16 drought for the 2006 batting champion.

Xavier Nady hit a sacrifice fly three batters later to score Sanchez and give Pittsburgh its first lead in the series. Jose Bautista added another sacrifice fly two batters later for a 3-1 advantage.

Hill allowed three runs, three hits and four walks with three strikeouts while throwing 72 pitches.

"I threw the ball well in the bullpen and came out and wasn't throwing the ball well in the first inning," Hill said. "The second inning I thought was much better, and the third inning I threw the ball better than I did in the first inning. But that's no indication of who I am as a pitcher. It's something I've got to try to go over. I'm looking forward to my next start."

After Lee's sacrifice fly in the fifth cut the deficit to 3-2, Chicago struck for five runs in the sixth to take control.

Soto hit his second home run of the season to straightaway center field, giving Chicago a 4-3 edge, and Fontenot capped the rally with a blast to right-center, pushing the Cubs bulge to 7-3.

"Things had been going all right, and it was the kind of game you're hopefully looking for out of Matt," Pirates manager John Russell said. "He was giving us a chance. It would have been nice if we could have pushed a few more runs across after the first, but we didn't. If you take away the sixth, obviously it would have been a different game.

"That's why you play nine innings, and that one inning really hurt us. If you take away that sixth inning, it was a pretty good game for us."

Morris lasted seven innings, taking one for the team as its bullpen had fatigue issues of its own. The righthander threw 113 pitches, allowing seven runs - four earned - 11 hits and two walks with three strikeouts.

McLouth had two hits and scored a run to pace the offense for the Pirates, who have lost five of six after a 2-1 start.

"It was a good come-from-behind win for us," Piniella said. "We came from behind and shut out a Pittsburgh team that had been swinging the bat well for the last eight innings of the ball game."






  • 25
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    559631m Added 5 roots

    Cubs 7, Pirates 3  FinalApr 11 8:19 AM


  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    CHICAGO CUBS 1 0 0 0 1 5 0 0 0 7 11 0
    PITTSBURGH 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 8 2 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: CHN - RICH HILL, JON LIEBER (4TH), BOBBY HOWRY (8TH), KERRY WOOD
    (9TH) AND GEOVANY SOTO
    PIT - MATT MORRIS, EVAN MEEK (8TH) AND RONNY PAULINO

    HOME RUNS: CHN - GEOV

    Apr 10 9:36 PM


  • NL
    AT PITTSBURGH - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY MIKE FONTENOT (1) TO RIGHT WITH 2 OUT
    IN THE 6TH OFF MATT MORRIS SCORED REED JOHNSON.
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 7, PITTSBURGH 3
    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: D LEE (.316, 0-FOR-2, SF, 2 RBI)

    Cubs 7, Pirates 3  Top 6, 0 OutsApr 10 8:42 PM


  • NL
    AT PITTSBURGH - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY REED JOHNSON SCORED RYAN THERIOT.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, R JOHNSON ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 5
    PITTSBURGH 3 TOP, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: A SORIANO (.171, 2-FOR-3)

    Cubs 5, Pirates 3  Top 6, 0 OutsApr 10 8:39 PM


  • NL
    AT PITTSBURGH - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY GEOVANY SOTO (2) TO CENTER WITH 0 OUT
    IN THE 6TH OFF MATT MORRIS SCORED KOSUKE FUKUDOME.
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 4, PITTSBURGH 3
    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: R THERIOT (.226, 1-FOR-2)

    Cubs 4, Pirates 3  Top 6, 0 OutsApr 10 8:33 PM


  • NL
    AT PITTSBURGH - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY DERREK LEE SCORED ALFONSO SORIANO.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M FONTENOT ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 2
    PITTSBURGH 3 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: A RAMIREZ (.235, 0-FOR-2)

    Cubs 2, Pirates 3  Top 5, 0 OutsApr 10 8:21 PM


  • NL
    AT PITTSBURGH - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY JOSE BAUTISTA SCORED JASON BAY.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, R PAULINO ON FIRST, A LAROCHE ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 1
    PITTSBURGH 3 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR PITTSBURGH: B BIXLER (.000, 0 HR, 0 RBI)

    Cubs 1, Pirates 3  Bot 1, 0 OutsApr 10 7:26 PM


  • NL
    AT PITTSBURGH - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY XAVIER NADY SCORED FREDDY SANCHEZ.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, A LAROCHE ON FIRST, J BAY ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 1
    PITTSBURGH 2 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR PITTSBURGH: R PAULINO (.200, 0 HR, 2 RBI)

    Cubs 1, Pirates 2  Bot 1, 0 OutsApr 10 7:23 PM


  • NL
    AT PITTSBURGH - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY FREDDY SANCHEZ SCORED NATE MCLOUTH.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, F SANCHEZ ON FIRST, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 1
    PITTSBURGH 1 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR PITTSBURGH: J BAY (.259, 1 HR, 1 RBI)

    Cubs 1, Pirates 1  Bot 1, 0 OutsApr 10 7:17 PM


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

    CURRENT PITCHERS: CHN - RICH HILL
    PIT - MATT MORRIS

    DUE UP FOR PITTSBURGH: N MCLOUTH (.390, 1 HR, 10 RBI)
    F SANCHEZ (.208, 0 HR, 2 RBI)
    J BAY (.259, 1 HR, 1 RBI)

    Cubs 1, Pirates 0  Bot 1, 0 OutsApr 10 7:13 PM
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