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Pittsburgh at Chicago

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Lee, Ramirez team up to defeat lowly Pirates

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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CHICAGO -- Carlos Zambrano gave the Chicago Cubs eight strong innings and one reason to laugh.

Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez hit solo home runs to back Zambrano, and the Cubs beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 8-2 Sunday.

Zambrano (7-4) allowed one unearned run and five hits while throwing 95 pitches. He struck out four, walked four and drove in two runs with a double.

"He threw the ball great today," Cubs manager Dusty Baker said. "He minimized his pitches, probably the lowest pitch count he had in a long time, and we gave him a lot of offensive support."

The 255-pound right-hander also provided a comic moment in the fifth, when he tried to stop Matt Lawton's line drive with his right hand. After knocking the ball down, Zambrano tried to flip the ball between his two legs to Lee at first base, but in the process lost his footing and did a somersault on the grass.

Zambrano met with a trainer but stayed in the game.

"I was just laughing. It was funny to watch," Lee said. "For a guy to be that big and so athletic it was fun to watch."

Zambrano knew he should have reacted differently.

"I should have saved that ball and I almost threw the ball in the stands," he said. "That's a game situation, you don't have too much time to think."

Ramirez had three hits for the Cubs, who took three of four from the Pirates and have won six of their last seven games.

"We are kind of clicking on the same page," Lee said. "For a while there we would get good pitching and wouldn't hit, or hit and not get good pitching. But right now we are on the same page and playing great baseball."

Lee's homer was his 28th, breaking a tie with Atlanta's Andruw Jones for the NL lead. Jeromy Burnitz had three of Chicago's 15 hits and also homered.

The Cubs led 1-0 after Lee's homer in the first off Kip Wells (6-10) before sending 10 men to the plate and scoring five runs in the third.

With one out, Wells gave up consecutive singles to Todd Walker, Lee, Burnitz and Ramirez, making it 3-0.

Michael Barrett added an RBI single later in the inning and Zambrano hit a two-run double to make it 6-0 and chase Wells.

Burnitz hit his 15th homer off Brian Meadows in the fourth inning. Ramirez led off the seventh with a drive onto Waveland Ave. off John Grabow for his 21st homer, making it 8-1.

Wells has dropped six of his last seven decisions. He only lasted 2 2/3 innings and gave up six runs and nine hits.

"He just seemed to struggle and never really established his fastball," Pirates manager Lloyd McClendon said. "They hit quite a few breaking balls in the third inning. Not a good outing with 68 pitches in 2 2/3 innings and 37 pitches in the third inning. That's just not good and won't help you win ballgames."

The Pirates scored an unearned run in the fourth inning. After Lee committed his fourth error of the season, Jason Bay scored on Jose Castillo's fielder's choice.

The Pirates struggled during the series while seeing Mark Prior, Kerry Wood and Greg Maddux before facing Zambrano on Sunday.

"Any time you face the Cubs, they have four aces to throw at you," Lawton said. "We knew it was going to be tough, but you kind of want to play better than we played.

"It's not going to get any easier with the Astros coming in. It's been pretty ugly for a long time and we just need to find a way to have fun out there."

Notes

Lee is just four homers shy of his career high. ... The Pirates have lost four of their last five games. ... Pittsburgh placed OF Craig Wilson on the DL with a fractured left hand. ... Walker extended his hitting streak to 10 games.

 
Copyright 2014 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.
 
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Players of the Game
Chicago

C. Zambrano
IP 8.0
H 5
ER 0
BB 4
K 4
Chicago

J. Burnitz
AB 5
R 1
H 3
HR 1
RBI 2
 
Pittsburgh Pirates
Matt Lawton, RF4020103 .276
Tike Redman, CF3000003 .272
    Ryan Vogelsong, P0000000 .250
    Freddy Sanchez, SS1000000 .264
Jason Bay, LF2100201 .290
Rob Mackowiak, 3B4020001 .280
Daryle Ward, 1B4000011 .260
Jose Castillo, 2B4121001 .279
Humberto Cota, C4010013 .246
Jack Wilson, SS3000010 .222
    John Grabow, P0000000 .000
    Rick White, P0000000 .000
   a- Bobby Hill, PH1011000 .291
Kip Wells, P1000010 .176
    Brian Meadows, P0000000 .000
   b- Chris Duffy, PH-CF2000102 .125
Totals332824415 
a-doubled for White in the 9th
b-grounded out for Meadows in the 5th
Batting
2B - Bobby Hill (6, Mitre)
RBI - Jose Castillo (31), Bobby Hill (11)
PK - Matt Lawton (1, Zambrano)
Team LOB - 8
Pittsburgh Pirates
Kip Wells (L,6-10) 2.2966121 4.82
Brian Meadows 1.1211111 5.50
Ryan Vogelsong 2000000 4.96
John Grabow 1311021 3.12
Rick White 1100000 2.60
Pitches-Strikes - Kip Wells 68-42, Brian Meadows 25-17, Ryan Vogelsong 16-11, John Grabow 19-15, Rick White 16-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kip Wells 4-2, Brian Meadows 1-2, Ryan Vogelsong 1-5, Rick White 1-2
Batters Faced - Kip Wells 18, Brian Meadows 7, Ryan Vogelsong 6, John Grabow 6, Rick White 4
Chicago Cubs
Jerry Hairston Jr., CF5000004 .264
Todd Walker, 2B5110020 .303
Derrek Lee, 1B5221000 .372
Jeromy Burnitz, RF5132000 .282
    Will Ohman, P0000000 .000
    Sergio Mitre, P0000000 .364
Aramis Ramirez, 3B5232011 .302
Todd Hollandsworth, LF2120200 .276
Neifi Perez, SS4110006 .269
Michael Barrett, C4021012 .268
Carlos Zambrano, P4012014 .233
    Jose Macias, RF0000000 .288
Totals3981582517 
Batting
2B - Jeromy Burnitz (21, White), Aramis Ramirez (24, Meadows), Neifi Perez (15, Grabow), Carlos Zambrano (3, Wells)
HR - Derrek Lee (28, Wells), Jeromy Burnitz (15, Meadows), Aramis Ramirez (21, Grabow)
RBI - Derrek Lee (73), Jeromy Burnitz 2 (50), Aramis Ramirez 2 (62), Michael Barrett (39), Carlos Zambrano 2 (4)
2-OUT RBI - Derrek Lee (24), Jeromy Burnitz (23), Michael Barrett (14), Carlos Zambrano 2 (3)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - Perez-Walker-Lee, Walker-Lee
E - Derrek Lee (4, misplayed grounder)
Chicago Cubs
Carlos Zambrano (W,7-4) 8510440 3.60
Will Ohman 0.1111000 2.53
Sergio Mitre 0.2200000 5.19
Pitches-Strikes - Carlos Zambrano 101-64, Will Ohman 6-5, Sergio Mitre 9-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Carlos Zambrano 13-5, Will Ohman 1-0, Sergio Mitre 2-0
Batters Faced - Carlos Zambrano 31, Will Ohman 2, Sergio Mitre 4
Game Information
Attendance - 39391
Game Time - 2:32
Temperature - 90
Umpires - Home - Paul Nauert, First Base - Mark Wegner, Second Base - Larry Poncino, Third Base - Gary Darling