Chicago at Pittsburgh

Chi. Cubs
W: S. Torres (1-0) L: M. Remlinger (0-1)
S: J. Mesa (4)
HR: CHC - J. Dubois (1), N. Perez (1)   PIT - D. Ross (2), D. Ross (3), R. Mackowiak (1)

Pirates 8, Cubs 5

CBS wire reports

PITTSBURGH -- Bobby Hill was once seen as the Cubs' second baseman of the future -- a future that never came. He insists that's all in the past, even if the Cubs may have trouble believing that.

The Pittsburgh Pirates roughed up Cubs starter Carlos Zambrano for five runs after barely scoring against him last season, then used Hill's two-run double in the eighth inning to rally past Chicago 8-5 Friday night.

Backup catcher David Ross had two homers and three RBIs and Rob Mackowiak also homered as the Pirates won for the first time in three home games. Zambrano allowed the three homers in six innings after yielding only 14 in 209 innings last season.

Hill, who got a brief and unsuccessful shot to be the Cubs' second baseman in 2002, doubled and scored the tying run on Matt Lawton's single in the seventh against Mike Remlinger. An inning later, Hill followed Mackowiak's single and Daryle Ward's double against Remlinger (0-1) with a go-ahead double to right-center against Chad Fox.

"That's a long time ago and I don't worry about that stuff," Hill said of a Cubs career that ended with the Aramis Ramirez trade in August 2003. "I've put that in the past. I was just glad to help us do something to win."

Zambrano, coming off 7 1/3 shutout innings of one-hit pitching Saturday against the Brewers, gave up more than a season's worth of runs to the Pirates /- five over six-plus innings. He allowed only four runs in 35 innings while going 5-0 against them in 2004, becoming the first to beat Pittsburgh five times in a season since Hall of Famer Tom Seaver in 1973.

The Pirates certainly couldn't have expected this after scoring a major league-low 24 runs in their first nine games.

"Nobody gave us any chance to beat them, the way we've been swinging the bats and the way Zambrano's throwing the ball," Pirates manager Lloyd McClendon said. "But I told our coaching staff and (general manager) Dave Littlefield before the game, we're going to battle through this and eventually it will come around."

Hill felt the same way after playing sparingly, going 2-for-7 before Friday. He was expected to get more playing time when second baseman Jose Castillo was hurt during the second game of the season, but Mackowiak has started most of the time.

"It's always been a battle for me ... but I've always tried to stay positive," Hill said. "I have a lot of confidence in what I can do."

The Pirates finally looked like they had some confidence against Zambrano, who had a 1.05 ERA against them last season.

"His (pitch) location wasn't very good," manager Dusty Baker said. "When he made a pitch in the wrong location, they didn't miss it."

Zambrano was clearly unhappy after he and the Cubs couldn't hold leads of 2-0, 4-2 and 5-3, declining interviews by saying, "I don't want to say something wrong."

Despite the offensive support, Pirates starter Oliver Perez gave up seven hits and five runs in six innings. The left-hander has yielded five or more runs in all three starts, allowing 16 earned runs in 15 innings after having a 2.98 ERA last season.

Ross answered Jason Dubois' two-run homer in the top of the second with a two-run drive in the home half, but Neifi Perez put the Cubs ahead again 4-2 with a two-run drive following Jerry Hairston's leadoff walk in the fifth. Ross homered again in the fifth, his third of the season.

The Cubs made it 5-3 in the sixth when Pirates right fielder Matt Lawton couldn't make a shoetop catch of Jeromy Burnitz's line-drive triple and Michael Barrett followed with a sacrifice fly.

Salomon Torres (1-0) pitched a scoreless eighth for the victory and Jose Mesa pitched the ninth for his fourth save in as many opportunities. He is 47-for-52 with the Pirates after losing his closer's job with the Phillies in 2003.


Chris Duffy's RBI pinch-hit double in the Pirates' eighth was his first major league hit. ... Ross previously was 0-for-2 with two strikeouts against Zambrano. ... April 15 finally was taxing to the Cubs, who had won their previous five games on that date. Zambrano beat the Pirates 10-5 last year on April 15. ... Neifi Perez has eight hits in three games. ... Corey Patterson's nine-game hitting streak ended when he struck out as a pinch-hitter to end the game. His streak was the longest to start a Cubs season since Vance Law's 16-game streak in 1988. ... Jason Bay was 5-for-11 with five extra base hits against Zambrano before going 1-for-3 against him. ... Mackowiak is 9-for-15 in his last three games.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
Players of the Game

B. Hill
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 0

D. Ross
AB 4
R 2
H 3
HR 2

Related Video

Chicago Cubs
Jerry Hairston Jr., CF3120110 .267
   a- Corey Patterson, PH1000010 .302
Neifi Perez, 2B3112001 .400
Nomar Garciaparra, SS3000100 .158
Aramis Ramirez, 3B4000023 .243
Derrek Lee, 1B3110103 .361
Jason Dubois, LF3112021 .364
   b- Todd Hollandsworth, PH-LF0000000 .241
Jeromy Burnitz, RF3110101 .293
    Chad Fox, P0000000 .000
Michael Barrett, C3001001 .156
Carlos Zambrano, P3010011 .444
    Michael Wuertz, P0000000 .000
    Mike Remlinger, P0000000 .000
    Jose Macias, RF1000000 .083
a-struck out for Hairston in the 9th
b-hit by pitch for Dubois in the 8th
2B - Derrek Lee (4, Perez)
3B - Jeromy Burnitz (2, Perez)
HR - Neifi Perez (1, Perez), Jason Dubois (1, Perez)
SF - Michael Barrett (1)
SH - Neifi Perez (2)
RBI - Neifi Perez 2 (3), Jason Dubois 2 (4), Michael Barrett (5)
CS - Jerry Hairston Jr. (1, 2nd base by Perez/Ross)
Team LOB - 5
Outfield Assists - Jose Macias 1
Chicago Cubs
Carlos Zambrano 6655253 4.00
Michael Wuertz0100000 1.59
Mike Remlinger (BS,1; L,0-1) 1322000 7.20
Chad Fox 1311020 1.69
Pitches-Strikes - Carlos Zambrano 108-67, Michael Wuertz 2-1, Mike Remlinger 22-13, Chad Fox 17-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Carlos Zambrano 6-6, Mike Remlinger 1-2
Batters Faced - Carlos Zambrano 25, Michael Wuertz 1, Mike Remlinger 6, Chad Fox 5
Pittsburgh Pirates
Matt Lawton, RF4021111 .293
    Jose Mesa, P0000000 .000
Jack Wilson, SS4000003 .162
Jason Bay, CF-LF4010012 .302
Rob Mackowiak, 2B3221101 .370
Daryle Ward, 1B4220010 .167
Craig A. Wilson, LF-RF4000023 .273
Bobby Hill, 3B4222001 .364
David Ross, C4233011 .421
Oliver Perez, P2000010 .000
    Brian Meadows, P0000000 .000
   a- Tike Redman, PH0000000 .200
   b- Ty Wigginton, PH1000002 .176
    Salomon Torres, P0000000 .000
   c- Chris Duffy, PH-CF1011000 .250
a-announced for Meadows in the 7th
b-popped out for Redman in the 7th
c-doubled for Torres in the 8th
2B - Daryle Ward (1, Remlinger), Bobby Hill 2 (2, Zambrano, Fox), Chris Duffy (1, Fox)
HR - Rob Mackowiak (1, Zambrano), David Ross 2 (3, Zambrano, Zambrano)
RBI - Matt Lawton (4), Rob Mackowiak (2), Bobby Hill 2 (2), David Ross 3 (7), Chris Duffy (1)
2-OUT RBI - David Ross 2 (4), Chris Duffy (1)
CS - Rob Mackowiak (1, 2nd base by Zambrano/Barrett)
Team LOB - 5
DP - Mackowiak-J. Wilson-Ward
E - David Ross (1, )
Pittsburgh Pirates
Oliver Perez 6755462 9.60
Brian Meadows 1000000 5.06
Salomon Torres (W,1-0) 1000000 1.50
Jose Mesa (S,4) 1000010 2.25
HBP - Hollandsworth (by Salomon Torres)
Pitches-Strikes - Oliver Perez 104-62, Brian Meadows 5-4, Salomon Torres 11-7, Jose Mesa 9-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Oliver Perez 6-5, Brian Meadows 2-1, Salomon Torres 2-0, Jose Mesa 1-1
Batters Faced - Oliver Perez 28, Brian Meadows 3, Salomon Torres 3, Jose Mesa 3
Game Information
Attendance - 29256
Game Time - 2:37
Temperature - 62
Umpires - Home - Ed Montague, First Base - Jerry Layne, Second Base - Paul Emmel, Third Base - Tony Randazzo