National League Game Summary - Chicago at Pittsburgh
(Tuesday, July 24th)
Final Score: Chicago 5, Pittsburgh 1
Pittsburgh, PA (Sports Network) - Paul Maholm turned in eight solid innings against his former mates and Alfonso Soriano hit a two-run homer as Chicago downed Pittsburgh, 5-1, in the middle test of a three-game set.
Maholm (9-6), a Pirate from 2005 through the end of last season, scattered four hits -- including a Garrett Jones solo homer -- and walked one while fanning seven.
"Everything he's got right now is working. He's locating, he's coming up with all four pitches, making the pitches when he needs them," said Cubs manager Dale Sveum of his starter. "He's really prepared and it obviously showed tonight in how good a job it was."
Starlin Castro also homered and David DeJesus added a two-run double for the Cubs, who have taken the first two in the series after being swept at St. Louis over the weekend.
James McDonald (10-4) allowed five runs and five hits with three walks and six strikeouts in six full frames for the Pirates, who had won five in a row before Chicago came to the Steel City.
The loss was mitigated by the announcement following the game that the Bucs acquired starter Wandy Rodriguez and cash from the Houston Astros in exchange for three players.
"We ripped the rear-view mirror off the front of the car a long time ago," said Pirates manager Clint Hurdle. "We're just looking forward. We got to find a way to get up tomorrow. We know we're a good ball club that can compete and win games."
The Cubs used a mid-game surge to claim control, scoring twice each in the fifth and sixth innings.
In the former, DeJesus doubled home two to make it 3-1 after walks to Geovany Soto, Luis Valbuena and Maholm loaded the bases. In the latter, Anthony Rizzo led off with a hit, stole second and Soriano followed with a two-run blast.
Maholm didn't allow a runner past second base following Jones' home run, ending his outing by retiring pinch-hitter Gorkys Hernandez on a double-play grounder and fanning Drew Sutton.
Carlos Marmol shook off a double from Neil Walker and walk to Andrew McCutchen by getting Jones on a fly out and Casey McGehee on a game-ending 6-4-3 double play.
Castro's one-out first-inning solo homer was equaled by Jones in the bottom of the fourth as he reached the seats in right.
"The biggest one (mistake) I made was that pitch to Jones," Maholm admitted. "But it's always good to get great defense and some runs on the board for you."
Coming into play, Maholm was 4-0 with a 0.92 ERA (3 ER/29.1 IP) in his last four starts dating to June 25 in Houston, having tossed at least six innings with one or no runs allowed in each outing...With a victory tonight, James McDonald would have matched A.J. Burnett with a team-high 11 wins, which would have been the first time since 1960 that two Pittsburgh pitchers had 11 wins apiece by the team's 96th game or sooner, after Bob Friend (11) and Vern Law (13) did so...Rodriguez, the 33-year-old left-hander had gone 7-9 with a 3.79 earned run average in 21 starts for the Astros this season...In 227 games (218 starts) since breaking into the majors in 2005, he holds an 80-84 mark, 4.04 ERA and a pair of complete-game shutouts...Heading to Houston are minor league pitchers Rudy Owens and Colton Cain along with outfielder Robbie Grossman.
07/25 00:02:46 ET