Chicago at Pittsburgh

Chi. Cubs
W: G. Rusch (1-2) L: I. Snell (0-1)
HR: CHC - T. Walker (1), A. Ramirez (2)   PIT - C. Wilson (6)

Cubs 7, Pirates 3

CBS wire reports

PITTSBURGH -- If a team wants to get its offense going, PNC Park is the place to go.

Todd Walker hit a two-run homer in the first inning, Aramis Ramirez added a two-run shot and the Chicago Cubs finished another successful series in Pittsburgh by defeating the Pirates 7-3 Sunday.

Derrek Lee hit a two-run double that chased starter Ian Snell (0-1) in a four-run sixth -- Lee's 43rd hit against the Pirates since 2004, the most by any major league player against another club in that span.

Lee's success against the Pirates is reflected in the Cubs' 13-2 record in Pittsburgh since May 30, 2004. The Cubs have won 11 of 15 and 21 of 27 against their NL Central rival, and they haven't had a losing record against Pittsburgh since 2000.

"This is a good ballpark to hit in," said Ramirez, whose average was in the low .200s before he had a double Saturday and an RBI single and the homer Sunday. "The wind's not a factor here like it is at Wrigley Field."

There's something else inviting about Pittsburgh: the home team's starting pitching staff. After seven games of a 10-game homestand, the Pirates are allowing opponents an average of 7.3 runs per game.

Ian Snell (0-1) was the latest Pirates starter to be roughed up, allowing six runs and six hits in five-plus innings. He has yielded at least five runs in all three of his starts and has a 9.60 ERA on a starting staff that has a 7.25 ERA through 14 games.

It was obvious Sunday that all this losing -- the Pirates are 4-10 -- and all this opposition scoring is wearing on new manager Jim Tracy. He was critical of Snell's pitch location, concentration and focus, saying that being a good pitcher in the minors like Snell was no guarantee for success in the majors.

Tracy was unhappy that Snell got ahead of Walker 0-2 in the count in the first, only to give him a hittable fastball that Walker hit out of the park. In the sixth, Snell fell behind Lee 3-1 and again left a fastball high in the hitter's zone.

Snell said he made the kind of mistakes young pitchers make, but an irritated Tracy said that isn't an acceptable excuse.

"He's been told one, two, 200 times in the minor leagues that when it's 0-2, a ball in the middle of the plate is unacceptable," Tracy said. "Against major league lineups, especially a lineup like this, you have to be able to locate pitches. There has to be a real understanding of that."

The Cubs won two of three in the weekend series, despite losing 2-1 to Zach Duke on Saturday night. Glendon Rusch (1-2) gave them an effective start Sunday to beat the Pirates for only the second time in nine career decisions, taking a two-hit shutout into the sixth before giving up Craig Wilson's three-run homer.

Wilson's homer was his sixth of the season and fifth in 19 at-bats and Pittsburgh's 13th in seven home games.

But as usual, the Pirates had fallen behind early as the Cubs took a 3-0 lead in a span of five batters. Juan Pierre and Ramirez singled ahead of Walker's first homer, a drive into the right-field seats.

"If we can get them going in the middle of the lineup and get Juan Pierre on base, we've got a chance to have a lot of stuff happening," manager Dusty Baker said.

Snell didn't allow a hit over the next four innings, then gave up singles to Pierre and Freddie Bynum starting the sixth ahead of Lee's two-run double. Ramirez made it 7-0 with his second homer, off rookie reliever Matt Capps, who has permitted three homers in six innings.

"It's real tough, but that's the game," Snell said. "You have to go through your bumps and bruises before you get going."

Roberto Novoa pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings in his first appearance for the Cubs this season, and closer Ryan Dempster finished in the ninth in a non-save situation.


Cubs OF Jacque Jones walked as a pinch hitter in the ninth after missing four games with a sore hamstring. ... Rusch won for the first time in three starts this season. He gave up homers to opposing starter Bronson Arroyo of Cincinnati in each of his previous two starts. ... Pirates batters were 3-of-19 with runners in scoring position in the series until Wilson homered. Wilson is 15-for-29 with two homers against Rusch. ... The Pirates are 1-7 in games started by opposing left-handers. ... Pittsburgh hasn't won consecutive games at home against the Cubs since May 28-29, 2004.

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.
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Players of the Game

A. Ramirez
AB 3
R 2
H 2
HR 1

C. Wilson
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1

Related Video

Chicago Cubs
Juan Pierre, CF4230000 .261
Freddie Bynum, RF5110004 .100
Derrek Lee, 1B4112002 .353
Aramis Ramirez, 3B3223100 .212
Todd Walker, 2B4112001 .433
Matt Murton, LF4000021 .310
Ronny Cedeno, SS4010000 .341
Henry Blanco, C4000001 .111
Glendon Rusch, P2000010 .250
   a- Jerry Hairston Jr., PH1010000 .375
    Will Ohman, P0000000 .000
    Roberto Novoa, P0000000 .000
   b- Jacque Jones, PH0000100 .111
    Ryan Dempster, P0000000 .000
a-singled for Rusch in the 7th
b-walked for Novoa in the 9th
2B - Derrek Lee (4, Snell), Ronny Cedeno (5, Capps)
HR - Aramis Ramirez (2, Capps), Todd Walker (1, Snell)
SH - Juan Pierre (2)
RBI - Derrek Lee 2 (10), Aramis Ramirez 3 (5), Todd Walker 2 (6)
2-OUT RBI - Aramis Ramirez (3), Todd Walker 2 (2)
SB - Juan Pierre (4, 2nd base off Snell/Cota)
Team LOB - 4
DP - Ramirez-Walker-Lee, Cedeno-Walker-Lee
Chicago Cubs
Glendon Rusch (W,1-2) 6533151 6.60
Will Ohman 0.1000010 23.63
Roberto Novoa 1.2100100 0.00
Ryan Dempster 1100010 0.00
Pitches-Strikes - Glendon Rusch 88-62, Will Ohman 3-3, Roberto Novoa 16-10, Ryan Dempster 23-17
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Glendon Rusch 8-4, Roberto Novoa 2-2, Ryan Dempster 1-1
Batters Faced - Glendon Rusch 23, Will Ohman 1, Roberto Novoa 6, Ryan Dempster 4
Pittsburgh Pirates
Nate McLouth, CF4110011 .250
Jack Wilson, SS4110001 .333
Jason Bay, LF3000112 .319
Craig Wilson, 1B4113021 .333
Freddy Sanchez, 3B4000010 .357
Jeromy Burnitz, RF4010020 .259
Jose Castillo, 2B2010000 .326
    Matt Capps, P0000000 .000
   a- Mike Edwards, PH10100001.000
    Salomon Torres, P0000000 .000
   b- Joe Randa, PH1000001 .237
Humberto Cota, C2010101 .194
Ian Snell, P0000000 .000
    Jose Hernandez, 2B2000001 .182
a-singled for Capps in the 7th
b-flied out for Torres in the 9th
HR - Craig Wilson (6, Rusch)
SH - Ian Snell (2)
RBI - Craig Wilson 3 (12)
2-OUT RBI - Craig Wilson 3 (3)
Team LOB - 4
DP - J. Wilson-Castillo-C. Wilson
Pittsburgh Pirates
Ian Snell (L,0-1) 5666111 9.60
Matt Capps 2311011 6.43
Salomon Torres 2100110 4.35
WP - Matt Capps (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Ian Snell 76-49, Matt Capps 36-23, Salomon Torres 24-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ian Snell 7-6, Matt Capps 2-3, Salomon Torres 2-3
Batters Faced - Ian Snell 21, Matt Capps 9, Salomon Torres 8
Game Information
Attendance - 15020
Game Time - 2:31
Temperature - 64
Umpires - Home - Bob Davidson, First Base - Tim McClelland, Second Base - Marty Foster, Third Base - Field Culbreth