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Birthday boy Lee hits slam to lead Cubs past Bucs

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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CHICAGO -- Derrek Lee refused to take his birthday off.

Turning down Cubs manager Dusty Baker's offer to rest, Lee hit a grand slam on his 31st birthday, leading the Chicago Cubs over the Pittsburgh Pirates 7-2 Wednesday night.

Lee has homered on four straight birthdays, and has five home runs in his career on his birthday.

"He wasn't going to play today, but he kind of pleaded with us that he always hits home runs on his birthday, so I guess I have to listen to him. That was a big one," Baker said.

Chicago trailed 2-1 in the eighth against John Grabow (4-2) when pinch-hitter Angel Pagan, Juan Pierre and Ryan Theriot loaded the based with singles.

With one out, Lee connected off Matt Capps for his seventh career slam, his first since Aug. 24, 2004, against Milwaukee. Henry Blanco and Angel Pagan added RBI singles in the six-run inning.

Lee can't understand why he has so much success on his birthday.

"It's just a fluke, there is nothing," Lee said.

He broke two bones in his right wrist in a collision with Rafael Furcal of the Dodgers on April 19. He was activated on June 25 but experienced pain and weakness in the wrist and was placed back on the disabled list on July 24. Lee was activated again on Aug. 28.

"I feel good," he said. "I'm seeing the ball good. I feel like I'm hitting the ball hard more consistently now, and that's all I try to do, is hit the ball hard."

Michael Wuertz (2-1) got two outs in the eighth to win in relief of Rich Hill, who struck out 11 in 7 1/3 innings. Hill set a team record for strikeouts by a left-hander, topping Steve Wilson's 10 on July 15, 1990, against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Chicago passed Pittsburgh and moved out of last place in the NL Central, ending its five-game losing streak to the Pirates.

Pirates starter Zach Duke allowed one unearned run and six hits in seven innings.

"Our guy was terrific," Pirates manager Jim Tracy said. "Really they shouldn't have scored a run off of him in the seven innings that he pitched. It was one of his better games of the year. He had it all working."

Ronny Paulino's passed ball allowed Ronny Cedeno to score from third base in the third.

Pittsburgh rallied for a 2-1 lead in the eighth. Hill threw wildly on pinch-hitter Jack Wilson's bunt single for a run-scoring error and the Pirates got another run on an RBI grounder to shortstop by Jose Bautista in which Cedeno threw wildly to the plate for another error.

Notes

Pittsburgh SS Jack Wilson continues his recovery from an inner ear infection. Tracy thinks Wilson could make his return to the starting lineup on Saturday when the team travels to Cincinnati. Wilson has missed 12 straight starts. ... With runners on first and third and one out in the sixth inning, Cubs 3B Aramis Ramirez hit a hard grounder behind the bag at second, SS Freddy Sanchez made a diving stop and flipped it from his glove to 2B Jose Castillo, who barehanded it and threw to first to complete the double play.

 
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

D. Lee
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 4
Chicago

A. Pagan
AB 2
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 1
 
Pittsburgh Pirates
Chris Duffy, CF2010111 .212
Jose Bautista, RF4001012 .247
Freddy Sanchez, SS4000021 .344
Jason Bay, LF4000022 .287
Ryan Doumit, 1B2000120 .202
    Xavier Nady, 1B1000000 .288
Ronny Paulino, C4000002 .314
Joe Randa, 3B4000000 .262
Jose Castillo, 2B3120010 .270
Zach Duke, P2000021 .200
   a- Jack Wilson, PH1110000 .275
    John Grabow, P0000000 .000
    Matt Capps, P0000000 .000
    Brian Rogers, P0000000 .000
Totals312412119 
a-hit a bunt single for Duke in the 8th
Batting
2B - Jose Castillo (24, Hill)
SH - Chris Duffy (3)
RBI - Jose Bautista (41)
SB - Chris Duffy 2 (16, 2nd base off Hill/Blanco, 2nd base off Hill/Blanco), Jose Castillo (6, 2nd base off Hill/Blanco)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - F. Sanchez-Castillo-Doumit, Nady
PB - Ronny Paulino (9)
E - Chris Duffy (2, )
Pittsburgh Pirates
Zach Duke 7610030 4.78
John Grabow (L,4-2)0222000 4.08
Matt Capps (BS,8) 0.1444101 3.80
Brian Rogers 0.2100000 0.00
IBB - Jones by Matt Capps
HBP - Cedeno (by Brian Rogers)
Pitches-Strikes - Zach Duke 103-0, John Grabow 4-0, Matt Capps 13-0, Brian Rogers 10-0
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Zach Duke 11-6
Batters Faced - Zach Duke 26, John Grabow 2, Matt Capps 6, Brian Rogers 3
Chicago Cubs
Juan Pierre, CF5120004 .291
Ryan Theriot, 2B4120010 .333
Aramis Ramirez, 3B4000004 .280
Derrek Lee, 1B4124000 .296
Matt Murton, LF4120001 .297
Jacque Jones, RF3100122 .286
Henry Blanco, C4020001 .260
Ronny Cedeno, SS3111002 .243
Rich Hill, P1000000 .100
    Michael Wuertz, P0000000 .000
   a- Angel Pagan, PH2121000 .277
    Bob Howry, P00000001.000
Totals3471361314 
a-singled for Wuertz in the 8th
Batting
HR - Derrek Lee (6, Capps)
SH - Rich Hill (2)
RBI - Derrek Lee 4 (24), Ronny Cedeno (36), Angel Pagan (15)
SB - Matt Murton (5, 2nd base off Capps/Paulino)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Cedeno-Theriot-Lee
E - Ronny Cedeno (24, ), Rich Hill (1, )
Chicago Cubs
Rich Hill 7.14212110 4.83
Michael Wuertz (W,2-1) 0.2000000 3.07
Bob Howry 1000000 3.41
WP - Rich Hill (3)
Pitches-Strikes - Rich Hill 111-0, Michael Wuertz 9-0, Bob Howry 14-0
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Rich Hill 3-8, Michael Wuertz 3-0, Bob Howry 3-0
Batters Faced - Rich Hill 28, Michael Wuertz 3, Bob Howry 3
Game Information
Attendance - 32557
Game Time - 2:27
Temperature - 70
Umpires - Home - Tom Hallion, First Base - James Hoye, Second Base - Alfonso Marquez, Third Base - Larry Young