National League Game Summary - Pittsburgh at Chicago|
(Friday, September 14th)
Final Score: Chicago 7, Pittsburgh 4
Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - Starlin Castro hit a three-run home run and
drove in four, leading the Chicago Cubs to a 7-4 victory over the Pittsburgh
Pirates in the opener of a four-game set.
Anthony Rizzo knocked in a pair of runs and Luis Valbuena scored three times
for the Cubs, who have won six of their last seven.
Chris Rusin (1-2) did enough to earn his first big league win, limiting
the visitors to two runs and four hits over five-plus innings. He fanned
six and didn't walk a batter.
"It felt real good, except for that cold beer shower," Rusin said. "I got
ahead of a lot of hitters, kept the ball down and located well."
Carlos Marmol turned in a scoreless ninth for his 20th save.
Pedro Alvarez knocked in two runs, while Andrew McCutchen homered and Gaby
Sanchez added an RBI for the Pirates, who extended their season-high
losing streak to seven games.
James McDonald (12-8) didn't make it out of the fourth and was charged with
five hits and four runs with four walks over 3 2/3 frames.
The Bucs climbed within 4-3 in the top of the sixth on an RBI single from
Sanchez and a run-scoring fielder's choice grounder from Alvarez, but the Cubs
seized the momentum again in the home half as Castro's three-run blast to left
field made it 7-3.
"I thought I could jump on the first pitch because I knew he throws
fastballs," Castro said. "This team might not be going anywhere, but we still
have to finish strong, play well, make the most of our chances."
Valbuena began the rally with a one-out walk against Tony Watson and Alfonso
Soriano was hit by a Jared Hughes pitch before the deciding longball.
McCutchen cleared the wall in right field with two down in the seventh, but
Shawn Camp retired the side in order in the eighth and Marmol overcame
plunking pinch-hitter Alex Presley in the ninth to complete the victory.
The Cubs picked up a run in the third as Valbuena hit a leadoff double, moved
up on a Rizzo groundout and scored on a two-out single from Castro.
Chicago tacked on three more in the fourth. Walks to Darwin Barney, David
DeJesus and Valbuena loaded the bases and chased McDonald from the game before
Rizzo greeted Justin Wilson with a two-run double and Soriano plated another
with an infield hit.
"I didn't have any of my pitches going. but I've been in plenty of situations
where I didn't before," said McDonald. "That many walks are unacceptable. I
should have gotten that out and been in the dugout."
Castro's four RBI tied a season high, first set on Sept. 7 in Pittsburgh ...
Marmol became the fifth pitcher in Cubs history with three straight seasons of
20-or-more saves, joining Lee Smith (1983-87), Bruce Sutter (1977-80), Ryan
Dempster (2005-07) and Randy Myers (1993-95) ... The Pirates, who slid to
14-29 since a four-game win streak from July 25-28, fell to 27-21 in day games
09/14 23:32:45 ET