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Pittsburgh at Chicago

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Pittsburgh (51-58) «020001000390
Chi. Cubs (65-45)000000000050

Newcomer Karstens sharp as Pirates end Cubs' win streak at five

CBSSports.com wire reports
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CHICAGO -- Two of their best players got traded. Their opponent was on a roll.

This looked like a bad time for the new-look Pirates to visit Wrigley Field.

Instead, Pittsburgh made a strong showing in a 3-0 victory that ended the Chicago Cubs' five-game winning streak Friday behind a strong performance from Jeff Karstens.

Coming off a four-game sweep at Milwaukee that boosted their lead in the NL Central to five games, the Cubs stumbled against a team that just traded outfielders Jason Bay and Xavier Nady.

Karstens (1-0), acquired in last week's deal that sent Nady to the New York Yankees, pitched six impressive innings in his first start of the season.

"They haven't seen me and I haven't seen them so they really had no idea how I was going to attack them," said Karstens, who gave up five hits. "I know we threw a lot of off-speed stuff. They're a really good fastball hitting team and sometimes that's what you got to do to win."

Andy LaRoche, obtained from the Dodgers in the Manny Ramirez deal Thursday that moved Bay to Boston, singled and scored a run.

Right fielder Brandon Moss, who came from Boston in the Bay trade, started one of Pittsburgh's four double plays. The victory moved the Pirates out of last place.

"It was nice energy to see those guys," manager John Russell said. "You can tell they're excited to be here and also they have an idea of what they're doing."

Jason Michaels hit an RBI single during a two-run second, then hit a solo homer off Jason Marquis (6-7) in the sixth.

Jack Wilson added three hits and drove in the Pirates' other run. He just missed a homer after Michaels connected, winding up with a double when his drive to left hit the basket above the ivy and bounced onto the field.

That was enough for Karstens in his 10th career start. He was one of four players the Pirates got when they traded Nady and reliever Damaso Marte to the Yankees.

"It's hard because those are three really important players on this team," Michaels said.

Denny Bautista, Sean Burnett and John Grabow combined for three hitless innings of relief. Grabow got his first save of the season.

The Cubs returned home following a sweep at Milwaukee in which they outscored the Brewers 31-11. Chicago plays 19 of 28 games at Wrigley Field this season, where they are now 39-15.

But the NL leaders in hitting and scoring stranded eight runners, leaving the bases loaded in the fourth.

The Cubs threatened again in the eighth when Bautista walked Kosuke Fukudome and Aramis Ramirez, but pinch-hitter Reed Johnson grounded into an inning-ending double play while batting for Jim Edmonds.

Was it a letdown for Chicago?

"You can say that, but I think you have to give their pitcher credit for once," Edmonds said. "I mean, he pitched a great game. We haven't seen him and we didn't have a lot of footage. And from what we saw he was definitely better than what we saw on video. I can't say 100 percent that we didn't have a letdown, but you definitely have to give that kid credit. It would be a shame not to give him the credit that he deserves."

While Karstens contained the Cubs, Marquis fell to 0-4 in six starts since beating the crosstown White Sox on June 21. He gave up RBI singles to Michaels and Wilson in the second.

Before the game, Pirates center fielder Nate McLouth talked about the departures of Bay and Nady.

"They were good presences in the clubhouse," McLouth said. "Their professionalism was something I learned from over the past couple years. It's something a lot of people will have to carry on."

Notes

  • Russell isn't sure when 1B Adam LaRoche will return from a a rib cage injury. When he comes off the disabled list, he'll be united with brother Andy. "There's no timetable," Russell said. "We're not going to rush. I know now he's very excited his brother's here."
  • Russell said Andy LaRoche will be the regular 3B for now over Jose Bautista.
  • Although Moss started in right field, he will be used mostly in left.
  • Cubs RHP Jon Lieber, on the DL with a strained right foot, threw on the side on Friday and will "pitch three innings somewhere in the next few days," manager Lou Piniella said.
  • Cubs rookie Jeff Samardzija struck out two in a scoreless eighth.
 
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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Newly acquired Jeff Karstens makes a great first impression, pitching six scoreless innings. (AP)
Newly acquired Jeff Karstens makes a great first impression, pitching six scoreless innings. (AP)

Players of the Game
Pittsburgh

J. Michaels
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
Pittsburgh

J. Karstens
IP 6.0
H 5
ER 0
BB 4
K 2
 
Pittsburgh Pirates
Luis Rivas, 2B5020024 .257
Doug Mientkiewicz, 1B5000011 .276
Nate McLouth, CF4000011 .277
Ryan Doumit, C3110001 .333
Andy LaRoche, 3B4110001 .206
Brandon Moss, RF3000122 .284
Jason Michaels, LF3122101 .238
Jack Wilson, SS4031011 .284
Jeff Karstens, P1000001 .000
    Denny Bautista, P0000000 .200
    Sean Burnett, P0000000 .333
   a- Jose Bautista, PH1000010 .250
    John Grabow, P0000000 .000
Totals3339328  
a-struck out for Burnett in the 9th
Batting
2B - Jack Wilson (13, Marquis)
HR - Jason Michaels (6, Marquis)
SH - Jeff Karstens 2 (2)
RBI - Jason Michaels 2 (40), Jack Wilson (14)
2-OUT RBI - Jason Michaels (20)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Brandon Moss 1
DP - Moss-Mientkiewicz, J. Wilson-Rivas-Mientkiewicz, Rivas-J. Wilson-Mientkiewicz, LaRoche-Rivas-Mientkiewicz
Pittsburgh Pirates
Jeff Karstens (W,1-0) 6500420 0.00
Denny Bautista (H,6) 1.1000210 3.23
Sean Burnett (H,3) 0.2000000 4.25
John Grabow (S,1) 1000110 3.13
Pitches-Strikes - Jeff Karstens 101-62, Denny Bautista 24-12, John Grabow 10-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jeff Karstens 8-6, Denny Bautista 2-1, Sean Burnett 1-0, John Grabow 1-0
Batters Faced - Jeff Karstens 25, Denny Bautista 6, Sean Burnett 1, John Grabow 3
Chicago Cubs
Alfonso Soriano, LF4010000 .290
Kosuke Fukudome, RF2000202 .280
Derrek Lee, 1B3000102 .290
Aramis Ramirez, 3B3020100 .277
Jim Edmonds, CF1000210 .240
   a- Reed Johnson, PH-CF1000001 .284
Geovany Soto, C4000013 .275
Mike Fontenot, 2B3010012 .288
   b- Mark DeRosa, PH0000100 .271
Ronny Cedeno, SS3000001 .277
    Jeff Samardzija, P0000000 .000
    Carlos Marmol, P0000000 .000
   c- Henry Blanco, PH1000001 .289
Jason Marquis, P2010000 .175
    Neal Cotts, P0000000 .000
   d- Ryan Theriot, PH-SS1000010 .318
Totals2805074  
a-grounded into a double play for Edmonds in the 8th
b-walked for Fontenot in the 9th
c-grounded into a double play for Marmol in the 9th
d-struck out for Cotts in the 7th
Fielding
DP - Lee-Cedeno-Marquis
Chicago Cubs
Jason Marquis (L,6-7) 6833121 4.68
Neal Cotts 1100010 2.66
Jeff Samardzija 1000120 3.00
Carlos Marmol 1000030 3.64
HBP - Doumit (by Jason Marquis)
Pitches-Strikes - Jason Marquis 102-63, Neal Cotts 16-11, Jeff Samardzija 23-13, Carlos Marmol 16-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jason Marquis 7-8, Neal Cotts 1-1, Jeff Samardzija 1-0
Batters Faced - Jason Marquis 27, Neal Cotts 4, Jeff Samardzija 4, Carlos Marmol 3
Game Information
Attendance - 41340
Game Time - 2:47
Temperature - 80
Umpires - Home - Jim Wolf, First Base - Phil Cuzzi, Second Base - Brian Knight, Third Base - Ed Montague