Pirates
Cubs
5 - 8 Final
  for this game

Johnson belts pinch-hit homer, Cubs top Pirates

Aug 3, 2008 - 11:59 PM CHICAGO (Ticker) -- Carlos Zambrano left early. Reed Johnson came through late.

Johnson belted a pinch-hit, two-run home run in the eighth inning Sunday, leading the Cubs to an 8-5 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Rookie Geovany Soto began the decisive frame when he drew a walk off Craig Hansen (0-1), and Johnson drilled an offering from Sean Burnett over the left field wall for a 7-5 lead. Alfonso Soriano followed with a blast to left - his 19th of the season.

"He has been a real good player for us all year. He is what you call a professional hitter," said Cubs manager Lou Piniella, who pulled his ace after just five innings. "Reed has helped us win a lot of games this season."

Carlos Marmol threw a perfect ninth to record his sixth save in eight chances.

Johnson's blast helped negate a shaky effort from a Cubs bullpen that was stretched out when Zambrano left with a 5-2 lead. Zambrano was cruising along, having retired 12 straight batters. The righthander allowed two runs and three hits, and also drove in a run with a double, raising his batting average to .354.

Piniella said there is no injury. He said they were just trying to protect Zambrano, who threw 125 and 118 pitches in his last two starts.

"We took Zambrano out and shortened him up a bit," Piniella said. "In his last two starts he threw a lot of pitches, so we thought five innings would be enough today. Unfortunately we didn't get him a win, but he is fine there is no injury."

Surprisingly, the fiery Venezuelan suggested he leave early.

"It was my idea to come out of the game," said Zambrano, who went 4-1 with a 1.78 ERA in July. "(Catcher) Geo (Soto) asked me if I had another inning in me, and I said, 'Of course I do'. "But Lou thought five was enough for me today and I did not argue."

The bullpen faltered but Johnson bailed them out, and received his first curtain call.

"It's probably the best moment for me personally I have never had a curtain call," Johnson said. "I always wondered what is like when Aramis (Ramirez) or D-Lee (Derek Lee) hits a game-winning home run. The real fun was going back into the dugout and hearing the roar from the fans and having my teammates push me back out on the field for the curtain call."

"I got ahead 0-2 and tried to go with a fastball and just left it belt high over the middle," Burnett said. "I left a fastball up to on the other one (Soriano) too."

With Zambrano out of the game, the Pirates began their rally.

Rookie Jeff Samardzija threw 2 1/3 scoreless innings, but Neal Cotts and Chad Gaudin (3-1) let a 5-2 lead slip away in the eighth. Cotts allowed a double to Doug Mientkiewicz and uncorked a wild pitch. Two batters later, Ryan Doumit's RBI single to right made it 5-3. Gaudin relieved Cotts and promptly allowed a game-tying, two-run homer to Andy LaRoche.

That erased the lead Zambrano and Soto helped build.

Trailing, 2-0, the Cubs loaded the bases in the second, and Soto belted an RBI single to right field. Zambrano plated the tying run with a double-play groundout. Soto and Zambrano were in the middle of another rally in the fourth. Soto's double to right-center off Pirates starter Ian Snell plated Jim Edmonds, and Zambrano followed with an RBI double for a 4-2 lead.

Snell allowed four runs and seven hits in four innings.

Ramirez led off the fifth with a solo home run to left field - his 19th of the season - to make 5-2.

"It stinks," Pittsburgh manager John Russell said of rally and then falling short.








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

    BATTERIES: PIT - IAN SNELL, T.J. BEAM (5TH), CRAIG HANSEN (7TH), SEAN BURNETT
    (8TH) AND RYAN DOUMIT
    CHN - CARLOS ZAMBRANO, JEFF SAMARDZIJA (6TH), NEAL
    COTTS (8TH), CHAD GAUDI

    Aug 3 5:13 PM


  • NL
    AT CHICAGO CUBS - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY ALFONSO SORIANO (19) TO LEFT WITH 2 OUT IN
    THE 8TH OFF SEAN BURNETT.
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 5, CHICAGO CUBS 8
    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: R THERIOT (.316, 1-FOR-3, BB)

    Pirates 5, Cubs 8  Bot 8, 0 OutsAug 3 5:05 PM


  • NL
    AT CHICAGO CUBS - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY REED JOHNSON (6) TO CENTER WITH 2 OUT
    IN THE 8TH OFF SEAN BURNETT SCORED GEOVANY SOTO.
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 5, CHICAGO CUBS 7
    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: A SORIANO (.293, 2-FOR-4)

    Pirates 5, Cubs 7  Bot 8, 0 OutsAug 3 5:04 PM
  • 10
    roots
    RUWTbot Took away 113 roots

    Pirates 5, Cubs 7  Bot 8, 0 OutsAug 3 5:04 PM
  • 123
    roots
    alamowx Added 5 roots

    Pirates 5, Cubs 5  Bot 8, 0 OutsAug 3 5:01 PM


  • NL
    AT CHICAGO CUBS - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY ANDY LAROCHE (3) TO LEFT WITH 2 OUT IN
    THE 8TH OFF CHAD GAUDIN SCORED RYAN DOUMIT.
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 5, CHICAGO CUBS 5
    DUE UP FOR PITTSBURGH: B MOSS (.250, 1-FOR-3, HR, RBI)

    Pirates 5, Cubs 5  Top 8, 0 OutsAug 3 4:48 PM
  • 118
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 113 roots (Close Finish)

    Pirates 5, Cubs 5  Top 8, 0 OutsAug 3 4:48 PM


  • NL
    AT CHICAGO CUBS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY RYAN DOUMIT SCORED DOUG MIENTKIEWICZ.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, R DOUMIT ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 3
    CHICAGO CUBS 5 TOP, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR PITTSBURGH: A LAROCHE (.188, 0-FOR-3)

    Pirates 3, Cubs 5  Top 8, 0 OutsAug 3 4:44 PM


  • NL
    AT CHICAGO CUBS - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY ARAMIS RAMIREZ (19) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 5TH OFF T.J. BEAM.
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 2, CHICAGO CUBS 5
    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: K FUKUDOME (.280, 0-FOR-2)

    Pirates 2, Cubs 5  Bot 5, 0 OutsAug 3 3:55 PM


  • NL
    AT CHICAGO CUBS - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY CARLOS ZAMBRANO SCORED GEOVANY SOTO.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, C ZAMBRANO ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 2
    CHICAGO CUBS 4 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: A SORIANO (.291, 1-FOR-2)

    Pirates 2, Cubs 4  Bot 4, 0 OutsAug 3 3:37 PM


  • NL
    AT CHICAGO CUBS - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY GEOVANY SOTO SCORED JIM EDMONDS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, G SOTO ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 2
    CHICAGO CUBS 3 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: C ZAMBRANO (.344, 0-FOR-1)

    Pirates 2, Cubs 3  Bot 4, 0 OutsAug 3 3:35 PM


  • NL
    AT CHICAGO CUBS - SCORING UPDATE
    CARLOS ZAMBRANO HIT INTO DOUBLE PLAY SCORING JIM EDMONDS.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, NONE ON, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 2
    CHICAGO CUBS 2 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: A SORIANO (.288, 0-FOR-1)

    Pirates 2, Cubs 2  Bot 2, 0 OutsAug 3 3:04 PM


  • NL
    AT CHICAGO CUBS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY GEOVANY SOTO SCORED MARK DEROSA.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, G SOTO ON FIRST, J EDMONDS ON THIRD, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 2
    CHICAGO CUBS 1 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: C ZAMBRANO (.349, 2 HR, 9 RBI)

    Pirates 2, Cubs 1  Bot 2, 0 OutsAug 3 3:02 PM


  • NL
    AT CHICAGO CUBS - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY BRANDON MOSS (1) TO CENTER WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 2ND OFF CARLOS ZAMBRANO.
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 2, CHICAGO CUBS 0
    DUE UP FOR PITTSBURGH: S PEARCE (.176, 0 HR, 2 RBI)

    Pirates 2, Cubs 0  Top 2, 0 OutsAug 3 2:49 PM


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

    CURRENT PITCHERS: PIT - IAN SNELL
    CHN - CARLOS ZAMBRANO

    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: A SORIANO (.290, 18 HR, 47 RBI)
    R THERIOT (.315, 1 HR, 31 RBI)
    D LEE (.289, 17 HR, 68 RB

    Pirates 1, Cubs 0  Bot 1, 0 OutsAug 3 2:33 PM
  • 5
    roots
    aqualung1 Added 5 roots

    Pirates vs. CubsApr 2 4:34 AM