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Pittsburgh at Chicago

Scoreboard
Pittsburgh (21-22) «0101300027112
Chi. Cubs (26-17)0301001016110

McLouth's dinger trumps Soriano's power in Pirates win

CBSSports.com wire reports
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CHICAGO -- Alfonso Soriano went deep again. And again. Nate McLouth's homer was the decisive one, though.

He hit a tiebreaking, two-run homer off Carlos Marmol in the ninth to help the Pittsburgh Pirates overcome Soriano's shots for a 7-6 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Saturday.

The Pirates had lost 10 straight to the Cubs and were 0-7 against them this year before McLouth came through with the big hit.

Freddy Sanchez beat shortstop Ryan Theriot's throw to first on a grounder up the middle with one out before McLouth's drive off Marmol (1-1) to the basket above the right-field wall. Pittsburgh won for the ninth time in 12 games.

"Against a guy like that who has electric stuff as he has, you don't try to do too much," McLouth said. "You just try to put the ball in play because he's got incredible stuff."

He got a fastball and drilled his 12th homer and his second off Marmol, who had pitched 13 consecutive scoreless innings.

"You're not perfect," said Marmol, who has allowed two homers. "You're going to make mistakes."

Matt Capps gave up a two-out RBI single to Ryan Theriot after Soriano doubled for his fifth hit of the game, but retired Derrek Lee on a fly to right for his 10th save in as many chances.

Damaso Marte (3-0) retired all three batters he faced in the eighth after Tyler Yates walked Aramis Ramirez.

Soriano has 20 hits in his last 37 at-bats, raising his average to .295 after a brutal start.

He tied a career high by leading off his fifth straight game with a hit when he lined a single to center and added an RBI single during a three-run second that gave the Cubs a 3-1 lead.

His solo shot to left off Zach Duke in the fourth made it 4-2, and he greeted Yates with another one that tied it at 5 in the seventh. That gave him seven homers in the week and 10 for the season. It was the second time he hit two homers in back-to-back games, the first coming for Texas against Cleveland on May 6-7, 2005. And he became the first Cubs player with back-to-back multihomer games since Ramirez at Washington on July 21-22, 2006.

The five-hit game was Soriano's first since June 4 against Milwaukee, and his career-high is six for Texas against Detroit on May 8, 2004.

"I'm very confident in myself," said Soriano, who spent the last two weeks in April on the disabled list with a strained right calf. "I had a bad month in April. I said when I come back, I want to come back strong."

And that's exactly what he did.

"Some people think he's a dumb hitter but he's not," Cubs starter Carlos Zambrano said. "He's a smart hitter and at the beginning, people booing him were doing no good. Everybody in baseball can go through slumps, bad times. Superstars do what Sori's doing right now."

Duke, who won his previous two starts, gave up four runs and eight hits in 6 1/3 innings.

He left after Nady made a diving catch near the right-field warning track to rob pinch hitter Ronny Cedeno. Then, Soriano went deep off Yates.

"He's locked in right now," Duke said. "It seems like you can throw him a pitch in any location and he's going to hit it hard."

Zambrano was in line for his second loss of the season before Soriano's second homer. After going 5-0 in his previous six starts he simply didn't have it. He left with none out in the fifth and the game tied at 4 after lasting at least six innings in his first nine outings.

Duke led off with a walk, and Sanchez and McLouth singled to make it 4-3. Zambrano then walked Jason Bay to load the bases before Adam LaRoche chased him with an RBI single off his glove that tied it. Nady then made it 5-4 with a sacrifice fly to foul territory in right off Michael Wuertz, before Doug Mientkiewicz lined a double play to first baseman Derrek Lee.

Besides struggling on the mound, Zambrano popped out while trying to lay down a bunt in the second and broke his bat over his left leg after striking out in the fourth.

"My team is in first place and I have a good record," said Zambrano, who's still 6-1 after being charged with a season-high five runs on seven hits. "What do I have to be frustrated?"

Notes

  • The Cubs were not sure how serious LHP Rich Hill's back injury was after it stiffened during Friday's start for Triple-A Iowa. Sent to the minors two weeks ago because of control problems, Hill allowed three runs and walked three batters in 2 2/3 innings at Round Rock.
  • Manager Lou Piniella said the Cubs will call up 1B Micah Hoffpauir before Monday's game at Houston, after Daryle Ward goes on the disabled list with a bulging disc in his lower back. Ward was available to pinch hit.
 
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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Watch it fly. Nate McClouth smacks a 1-0 offering from Carlos Marmol. It's his 12th HR of the year. (AP)
Watch it fly. Nate McClouth smacks a 1-0 offering from Carlos Marmol. It's his 12th HR of the year. (AP)

Players of the Game
Chicago

A. Soriano
AB 5
R 3
H 5
HR 2
RBI 3
Pittsburgh

N. McLouth
AB 5
R 2
H 3
HR 1
RBI 3
 
Pittsburgh Pirates
Freddy Sanchez, 2B5230000 .254
Nate McLouth, CF5233011 .312
Jason Bay, LF4000112 .264
Adam LaRoche, 1B5121012 .199
Xavier Nady, RF3001011 .316
Doug Mientkiewicz, 3B3111112 .242
Ronny Paulino, C4010022 .227
Brian Bixler, SS4011022 .181
Zach Duke, P2100101 .105
    Tyler Yates, P0000000 .000
    Damaso Marte, P0000000 .000
   a- Jason Michaels, PH1000010 .216
    Matt Capps, P0000000 .000
Totals367117310  
a-struck out for Marte in the 9th
Batting
2B - Freddy Sanchez (10, Zambrano), Adam LaRoche (6, Zambrano)
HR - Nate McLouth (12, Marmol)
SF - Xavier Nady (3)
RBI - Nate McLouth 3 (36), Adam LaRoche (17), Xavier Nady (36), Doug Mientkiewicz (8), Brian Bixler (2)
2-OUT RBI - Brian Bixler (1)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Jason Bay 1
DP - Duke-Bixler-LaRoche
E - Jason Bay (1, Misplayed grounder), Brian Bixler (6, Misplayed grounder)
Pittsburgh Pirates
Zach Duke 6.1844141 4.23
Tyler Yates (BS,2) 0.2111101 3.38
Damaso Marte (W,3-0) 1000000 4.15
Matt Capps (S,10) 1211010 2.75
Pitches-Strikes - Zach Duke 106-69, Tyler Yates 13-7, Damaso Marte 5-4, Matt Capps 22-16
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Zach Duke 10-4, Tyler Yates 2-0, Damaso Marte 2-1
Batters Faced - Zach Duke 27, Tyler Yates 4, Damaso Marte 3, Matt Capps 5
Chicago Cubs
Alfonso Soriano, LF5353000 .295
Ryan Theriot, SS5021001 .331
Derrek Lee, 1B5000003 .294
Aramis Ramirez, 3B3000111 .280
Kosuke Fukudome, RF4000001 .314
Geovany Soto, C3110111 .328
Mark DeRosa, 2B4120012 .299
    Carlos Marmol, P0000000 .000
Reed Johnson, CF4111010 .258
Carlos Zambrano, P2000012 .267
    Michael Wuertz, P0000000 .000
    Scott Eyre, P0000000 .000
   a- Ronny Cedeno, PH1000000 .328
    Jon Lieber, P0000000 .000
    Mike Fontenot, 2B1000000 .262
Totals37611525  
a-flied out for Eyre in the 7th
Batting
2B - Alfonso Soriano (7, Capps), Geovany Soto (14, Duke), Mark DeRosa (9, Duke)
HR - Alfonso Soriano 2 (10, Duke, Yates)
RBI - Alfonso Soriano 3 (25), Ryan Theriot (12), Reed Johnson (18)
2-OUT RBI - Alfonso Soriano 2 (7), Ryan Theriot (4)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Lee
PB - Geovany Soto 2 (3)
Chicago Cubs
Carlos Zambrano 4754330 2.45
Michael Wuertz 2.2100010 3.18
Scott Eyre 0.1000010 0.00
Jon Lieber 1100030 3.63
Carlos Marmol (L,1-1) 1222021 1.67
Pitches-Strikes - Carlos Zambrano 73-40, Michael Wuertz 20-18, Scott Eyre 4-3, Jon Lieber 20-14, Carlos Marmol 15-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Carlos Zambrano 3-6, Michael Wuertz 3-3
Batters Faced - Carlos Zambrano 22, Michael Wuertz 8, Scott Eyre 1, Jon Lieber 4, Carlos Marmol 5
Game Information
Attendance - 41686
Game Time - 2:44
Temperature - 66
Umpires - Home - Jim Wolf, First Base - Ed Montague, Second Base - Jerry Layne, Third Base - Phil Cuzzi