Chicago at Pittsburgh

Scoreboard
Chi. Cubs (44-42) «2030200007140
Pittsburgh (39-48)000000100180

Rolling Cubs strike early to break Pirates' winning streak

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
  •  

PITTSBURGH -- Ryan Theriot and the Chicago Cubs hitters easily singled out the reason they won Saturday night -- they hit a lot of singles.

Despite being in their longest home run drought since 1999, the Cubs won for the 12th time in 15 games, beating the Pittsburgh Pirates 7-1.

The Cubs did not homer for the eighth straight game. Instead, they got 14 hits, all of them in the first six innings and all but one a single.

"I'd rather not hit any (homers) and win than hit four or five and lose," said Theriot, who had three hits. "The key to the game is whoever touches home most wins, and I guess however you do that, it really doesn't matter too much. We've got guys not hitting home runs, and were still winning ballgames. That means a lot of people are getting a lot of hits."

Ted Lilly pitched neatly into the eighth inning and Alfonso Soriano also had three hits for the Cubs.

Ronny Paulino had three hits for the Pirates, who had a four-game winning streak snapped.

Every Chicago starter except catcher Koyie Hill and Lilly were on base at least twice.

"We hit with men on base tonight," Cubs manager Lou Piniella said. "Were getting runs in, that's all that matters."

Lilly (8-4) won his fourth decision in a row. He gave up one run and eight hits in 7 1/3 innings, striking out six and walking one.

"I was working really well with Koyie," Lilly said. "He was doing a good job behind the plate. I felt pretty comfortable knowing he had a pretty good gameplan and pretty good feel for the hitters tonight."

The Cubs started quickly against John Van Benschoten (0-3), with four of the first five batters getting hits. Derrek Lee and Daryle Ward had RBI singles for a 2-0 lead.

"It's very important to lead off the team right," Soriano said. "And I got a hit and stole a base to try to do something for my team because sometimes we have problems scoring some runs."

Chicago made it 5-0 in the third. Following a pair of walks, Mark DeRosa singled off shortstop Jack Wilson's glove to drive in Lee. After Jacques Jones walked, Hill hit a sacrifice fly and Lilly hit an RBI single.

"We got the game started with a couple basehits, and we scored a few runs early and gave Lilly something to work with," Piniella said. "And then we added some runs, which is also good to see."

The rout was on when Soriano and Theriot hit RBI singles in the fifth off John Wasdin. Soriano scored twice.

Aramis Ramirez added two hits for the Cubs. He scored once and drove in a run. DeRosa had two hits and scored a run.

"I think everybody had a good approach tonight," Theriot said. "We went in and stuck to our gameplan. We stared to see some back-to-back hits. That's how you win ballgames, how you score runs. Guys got hits with runners in scoring position, capitalized and got the job done."

The Pirates' run came in the seventh when Wilson doubled home Ryan Doumit.

Van Benschoten allowed seven hits and three walks in 2 2/3 innings.

"They just seemed to find the holes and balls went where they wanted them to go," said Van Benschoten, who made his fifth start of the season. "I define it as a tough one tonight. It's tough to swallow and it's going to be tough because now you've got the All-Star break to think about that last start you had before the All-Star break, so it's frustrating."

The Cubs, who were in fourth place just five weeks ago, moved to within 4½ games of first-place Milwaukee in the NL Central. They took three out of four in Washington before splitting the first two games of this series.

"We started on this road trip thinking four wins, five wins, would be a real nice trip for us," Piniella said.

Notes

  • Pirates 1B Adam LaRoche was scratched an hour before the game due to what was described as left knee irritation.
  • Chicago's first nine hits were singles. When Jones hit a double in the fifth, it extended the Cubs' streak of at least one in each of the past 14 games, tying a season high.
 
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The Cubs' Alfonso Soriano has a fruitful day at the plate with three hits, two runs and one driven in.  (AP)
The Cubs' Alfonso Soriano has a fruitful day at the plate with three hits, two runs and one driven in. (AP)

Players of the Game
Chicago

A. Soriano
AB 5
R 2
H 3
HR 0
RBI 1
Chicago

T. Lilly
IP 7.1
H 8
ER 1
BB 1
K 6
 

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Chicago Cubs
Alfonso Soriano, LF5231012 .310
Ryan Theriot, SS-2B5131001 .277
Derrek Lee, 1B4111111 .331
Aramis Ramirez, 3B5020003 .309
    Cesar Izturis, SS0000000 .242
Daryle Ward, RF3111113 .327
    Felix Pie, CF1000010 .216
Mark DeRosa, 2B-3B5121024 .288
Jacque Jones, CF-RF4110103 .233
Koyie Hill, C3001001 .155
Ted Lilly, P4011021 .132
    Carlos Marmol, P0000000 .000
Totals39714738  
Batting
2B - Jacque Jones (14, Wasdin)
SF - Koyie Hill (2)
RBI - Alfonso Soriano (33), Ryan Theriot (25), Derrek Lee (42), Daryle Ward (8), Mark DeRosa (48), Koyie Hill (6), Ted Lilly (2)
2-OUT RBI - Alfonso Soriano (14), Ryan Theriot (7), Ted Lilly (1)
SB - Alfonso Soriano (13, 2nd base off Van Benschoten/Paulino)
Team LOB - 9
Chicago Cubs
Ted Lilly (W,8-4) 7.1811160 3.67
Carlos Marmol 1.2000120 0.96
WP - Ted Lilly (5)
Pitches-Strikes - Ted Lilly 106-69, Carlos Marmol 28-16
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ted Lilly 8-8, Carlos Marmol 1-2
Batters Faced - Ted Lilly 31, Carlos Marmol 6
Pittsburgh Pirates
Jose Bautista, 3B5010013 .260
Freddy Sanchez, 2B4010001 .297
Xavier Nady, CF4000012 .287
Jason Bay, LF3000111 .251
Josh Phelps, 1B4010032 .275
Ryan Doumit, RF4110023 .305
Ronny Paulino, C4030000 .237
Jack Wilson, SS3011103 .263
John Van Benschoten, P0000000 .000
    John Wasdin, P1000000 .000
   a- Jose Castillo, PH1000001 .243
    John Grabow, P0000000 .000
   b- Matt Kata, PH1000002 .181
    Masumi Kuwata, P0000000 .000
    Tony Armas, P0000000 .286
   c- Rajai Davis, PH1000001 .237
Totals3518128  
a-grounded out for Wasdin in the 5th
b-flied out for Grabow in the 7th
c-hit into fielder's choice for Armas in the 9th
Batting
2B - Jose Bautista (23, Lilly), Freddy Sanchez (20, Lilly), Ronny Paulino (13, Lilly), Jack Wilson (15, Lilly)
RBI - Jack Wilson (25)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - F. Sanchez-J. Wilson-Phelps
Pittsburgh Pirates
John Van Benschoten (L,0-3) 2.2755320 5.40
John Wasdin 2.1522010 5.95
John Grabow 2200030 5.32
Masumi Kuwata 1000000 7.30
Tony Armas 1000020 8.69
Pitches-Strikes - John Van Benschoten 73-47, John Wasdin 40-28, John Grabow 33-22, Masumi Kuwata 12-8, Tony Armas 11-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - John Van Benschoten 3-3, John Wasdin 1-5, John Grabow 1-1, Masumi Kuwata 3-0, Tony Armas 1-0
Batters Faced - John Van Benschoten 18, John Wasdin 12, John Grabow 7, Masumi Kuwata 3, Tony Armas 3
Game Information
Attendance - 33293
Game Time - 2:46
Temperature - 84
Umpires - Home - Ron Kulpa, First Base - Adrian Johnson, Second Base - Dan Iassogna, Third Base - Wally Bell