Pittsburgh at Chicago

Chi. Cubs
W: T. Lilly (11-6) L: P. Maholm (7-7)
HR: PIT - None   CHC - None

Johnson, Soto team up to lead surging Cubs past Pirates

CBSSports.com wire reports

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Cubs have a solid starting rotation with Carlos Zambrano, Rich Harden and Ryan Dempster, and manager Lou Piniella just loves Ted Lilly, too.

Lilly pitched 6 1/3 solid innings, Reed Johnson had three hits and the Chicago Cubs bounced back from a rare home loss, beating the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-1 on Saturday.

Geovany Soto also drove in two runs for Chicago, which improved to 40-15 at Wrigley Field after losing 3-0 to the Pirates on Friday. The Cubs (66-45) have won six of seven to improve to a season-best 21 games over .500 for the second time this season.

Lilly (11-6) allowed one run and five hits, improving to 10-2 in his last 12 decisions.

"I'll tell you what, over the past two years after losing a ballgame, this guy does just as good as a job as any, anybody we have here putting a stop to that losing streak," Piniella said. "You look at his performance, he's a gutsy kid. He doesn't back off and he gets after it and it shows. Even though early in the game at times he wavers a little bit, boy, he collects himself and digs in and does a heck of a job."

After throwing 54 pitches in the first two innings and battling early control problems, Lilly finished strong and left to a loud ovation in the seventh inning. The left-hander praised rookie catcher Soto for helping him settle down.

"He kind of knew I was scuffling with my curveball and he kind of helped me have a little more confidence and made me throw my changeup a little bit more and use my slider," Lilly said. "Sometimes I get stubborn out there and when something is not working I'll force it to work and he was good with me in that regard."

Ryan Doumit went 3-for-4 with two doubles and left-hander Paul Maholm (7-7) had an RBI single for the Pirates.

"We couldn't get much going," manager John Russell said. "We had some chances against Lilly early but couldn't get the big hit."

Maholm drove in Doumit with an infield hit in the second but the Cubs pushed across two runs in the bottom half. Aramis Ramirez reached on a leadoff double, advanced to third on Johnson's single and scored on Soto's groundout. Ronny Cedeno singled in Johnson to make it 2-1.

"I had Lilly on deck, I knew it, didn't want to throw him a strike anywhere close to the zone and I threw it right down the middle," Maholm said about Cedeno's hit. "That pretty much sums up how my location went all day."

Soto singled in Johnson in the fourth and Mark DeRosa scored when Cedeno grounded into a double play. Alfonso Soriano led off the fifth with a double down the left-field line and scored on Derrek Lee's sacrifice fly to make it 5-1.

Chicago is getting good production from the center-field platoon of Johnson and Jim Edmonds, who hit a grand slam and solo shot in Thursday's win against the Brewers.

"They are both good on the defensive end as well, and they bring a lot to our table," Lilly said. "It's kind of interesting they bring different facets of the game. Jimmy is dangerous with one swing of the bat and Reed kind of brings a different factor in the game when he's in the lineup."

Maholm gave up five runs and eight hits in six innings.


  • Cubs RF Kosuke Fukudome didn't start, but had a pinch-hit single in the seventh inning and stayed in the game in right.
  • The Cubs have won their last five games against left-handed starters.
  • Lilly had his 10th quality start in his last 12 outings.
  • Maholm gave up more than three runs for the second time in his last nine starts.
Copyright 2017 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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Geovany Soto drives in two to help the Cubs win for the sixth time in their past seven games.  (AP)
Geovany Soto drives in two to help the Cubs win for the sixth time in their past seven games. (AP)

Players of the Game

R. Johnson
AB 4
R 2
H 3
HR 0

T. Lilly
IP 6.1
H 6
ER 1
BB 3
K 5

Related Video

Pittsburgh Pirates
Luis Rivas, 2B5000025 .248
Jack Wilson, SS4010010 .284
Nate McLouth, CF4010011 .276
Ryan Doumit, C4130011 .340
Andy LaRoche, 3B3000104 .197
Steve Pearce, RF4010015 .176
Brandon Moss, LF2010210 .289
Chris Gomez, 1B3000015 .289
   a- Doug Mientkiewicz, PH1000000 .274
Paul Maholm, P2011000 .128
   b- Jose Bautista, PH1000011 .249
    Jason Davis, P0000000 .000
   c- Jason Michaels, PH0000100 .238
a-flied out for Gomez in the 9th
b-struck out for Maholm in the 7th
c-walked for Davis in the 9th
2B - Ryan Doumit 2 (24, Lilly, Howry)
RBI - Paul Maholm (1)
2-OUT RBI - Paul Maholm (1)
CS - Ryan Doumit (1, 2nd base by Lilly/Soto)
Team LOB - 9
DP - J. Wilson-Rivas-Gomez, LaRoche-Rivas-Gomez, LaRoche-Rivas-Gomez
Pittsburgh Pirates
Paul Maholm (L,7-7) 6855220 3.95
Jason Davis 2100120 0.00
WP - Paul Maholm (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Paul Maholm 84-55, Jason Davis 32-21
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Paul Maholm 10-3, Jason Davis 1-2
Batters Faced - Paul Maholm 25, Jason Davis 7
Chicago Cubs
Alfonso Soriano, LF4110001 .290
Ryan Theriot, SS3000101 .315
Derrek Lee, 1B1001201 .289
Aramis Ramirez, 3B4110011 .277
Reed Johnson, CF4230011 .292
Mark DeRosa, RF-2B3110013 .271
Geovany Soto, C3012000 .275
Ronny Cedeno, 2B2011000 .280
   a- Kosuke Fukudome, PH-RF1010000 .282
Ted Lilly, P2000011 .186
    Chad Gaudin, P0000000 .000
   b- Daryle Ward, PH1000001 .242
    Bob Howry, P0000000 .000
    Carlos Marmol, P0000000 .000
a-singled for Cedeno in the 7th
b-flied out for Gaudin in the 7th
2B - Alfonso Soriano (15, Maholm), Aramis Ramirez (29, Maholm), Reed Johnson (16, Maholm)
SF - Derrek Lee (4)
RBI - Derrek Lee (68), Geovany Soto 2 (60), Ronny Cedeno (22)
2-OUT RBI - Ronny Cedeno (16)
SB - Derrek Lee (6, 2nd base off Davis/Doumit), Reed Johnson (5, 3rd base off Maholm/Doumit), Mark DeRosa (4, 2nd base off Maholm/Doumit)
CS - Reed Johnson (5, 3rd base by Maholm/Doumit)
Team LOB - 3
DP - Ramirez-Cedeno-Lee
Chicago Cubs
Ted Lilly (W,11-6) 6.1611350 4.35
Chad Gaudin 0.2000010 3.24
Bob Howry 1200010 5.09
Carlos Marmol 1000120 3.58
Pitches-Strikes - Ted Lilly 111-70, Chad Gaudin 7-5, Bob Howry 16-12, Carlos Marmol 22-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ted Lilly 4-8, Bob Howry 1-1
Batters Faced - Ted Lilly 26, Chad Gaudin 2, Bob Howry 5, Carlos Marmol 4
Game Information
Attendance - 41426
Game Time - 2:30
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Phil Cuzzi, First Base - Brian Knight, Second Base - Ed Montague, Third Base - Jim Wolf