PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Pirates didn't hit like a last-place team on Monday night.
Freddy Sanchez had three hits to raise his NL-leading batting average to .349, and the Pirates beat the Chicago Cubs 11-6 in a matchup of the teams with the poorest records in the National League.
"Everyone was getting good at bats, putting good wood on the ball," Sanchez said. "It was good to see everyone hitting the ball well. It was one of those nights where everyone was getting good at bats."
Sanchez has hit safely in 17 of his past 20 games and leads Florida's Miguel Cabrera by 12 points in the batting race.
"This guy is not only fighting to win a batting championship, but you watch him every day, and he just keeps becoming a better and better offensive player," Pittsburgh manager Jim Tracy said. "This guy is a premiere offensive player."
Chris Duffy had three hits, three runs, two RBI and a stolen base, and Ronny Paulino had three hits and two RBI for Pittsburgh, which got 15 hits in the first five innings, took a 9-1 lead and stopped a three-game losing streak.
The Pirates finished with 19 hits, and every starter except the pitcher had at least one. Pittsburgh was coming off a 13-1 loss to Houston.
"When you get beat as badly as we did yesterday and to come back as we did today is a sign of where we are and how far we have come as a team," Tracy said.
Ian Snell (12-8) won despite allowing five runs, five hits and three walks in 5 2/3 innings. Snell became the first Pirates right-hander -- and only their second pitcher overall -- to win 12 games in the last four seasons. Kip Wells and Josh Fogg each won 12 games in 2002, and lefty Oliver Perez won 12 in 2004.
"I set some goals for myself," Snell said. "I'm excited for myself and for my team because every win we get is a hard-fought. We're fighting to get as close to .500 as we can."
Derrek Lee, who had been on the disabled list since July 24 because of an inflamed right wrist, had a two-run single for the Cubs, and Juan Pierre went 3-for-4 with two RBI.
"I got some good pitches to hit," said Lee, who flied out sharply to center in his other three at-bats. "Got some good wood on them, but I wouldn't exactly say I'm back in the groove quite yet."
Angel Guzman (0-4) allowed eight runs and 10 hits in three-plus innings. He lost to the Pirates 8-0 on May 2 in Chicago.
The Cubs (54-87) went ahead when Pierre hit the third pitch of the game for his second home run, but Pittsburgh (51-81) took the lead for good on Jason Bay's two-run homer in the bottom half.
Duffy, Jose Bautista and Sanchez hit RBI singles in the third. After Guzman walked Bay with the bases loaded and no outs in the fourth, Paulino hit a two-run single off Glendon Rusch. Bautista's RBI single made it 9-1 in the fifth.
"Today we all swung the bat real well, which is good after what happened yesterday," Bautista said. "Hopefully, that will continue."
Chicago closed in the sixth on Lee's two-run single and Michael Barrett's two-run double, which chased Snell.
"We battled back and threatened and got close, and they jumped us again in the (eighth)," Cubs manager Dusty Baker said. "We've got to hold them."
Rain -- heavy at times -- started in the bottom of the fourth and continued throughout the remainder of the game. There were no delays. ... Pierre's home run was the third of his career leading off a game. ... Bay's 29th homer stopped an 0-for-12 slide. ... Duffy was 0-for-14 coming in. ... The Pirates are 11-2 when Duffy steals a base.