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Chicago at Pittsburgh

Scoreboard
Chi. Cubs (13-14)000101000280
Pittsburgh (11-15) «10000200x380

Pirates 3, Cubs 2

CBSSports.com wire reports
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PITTSBURGH -- Ryan Church woke up sick. Octavio Dotel didn't really wake up at all following a hectic day and night. Turned out to a good combination for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Church's two-run homer put them ahead in the sixth inning, Andy LaRoche added a solo shot and the Pirates bounced back from a poor road trip to beat the Cubs and Ryan Dempster 3-2 on Tuesday night.

The Pirates went 3-7 during a season-long road trip and had lost 10 of 13 overall before withstanding solo homers by Alfonso Soriano and Geovany Soto. They are 6-1 in one-run games but 5-14 in all other games, and had been 1-14 when scoring three runs or fewer.

"The losses that we have, we get blown out and we don't play well," Church said. "We need to get this [consistency] day in and day out. When we lose it's big and we've got to clean that up."

Church woke up with the stomach flu and was sick all day, but had to start in center field because Andrew McCutchen (sprained right ankle) sat out for the first time this season. Church responded with his first homer since Aug. 7, when he played for Atlanta.

Dempster (2-2) got the first two batters in the sixth ahead of Garrett Jones' infield single. Church followed by hitting a line drive off the first row of seats in right field.

Church made a slight adjustment to his stance over the weekend in Los Angeles, backing off the plate slightly. He has four hits in three games since then.

"I'm back to where I was two years ago, before I made some changes. I listened to people, which I shouldn't have done," Church said, reflecting on alterations made when he played for the Mets. "I should have been more stubborn about it. We're there now, it's just getting that feel when balls start jumping and getting out. It's just a feel factor, you get that swing down and you know what you can do."

Dotel arrived at the clubhouse with a box of cigars after wife Massiel gave birth to son Eduardo on Monday. He left with his fourth save in six opportunities and a nice souvenir for his infant.

"I got the ball for him," said Dotel, who had been scored upon in six consecutive appearances.

Dotel was glad to be handed the ball at all, given that he sometimes goes five or six days without a save opportunity.

"I'm looking forward to it not being that way," said Dotel, who lowered his ERA from 10.61 to 9.58. "I'm looking to be more active. I can't have that as an excuse. I've got to get the save, I've got to hold the lead. That's what I get paid to do."

The Cubs, coming off a three-game weekend sweep of Arizona, fell to 13-14 while failing to break .500 for the first time this season. They had won 10 of their last 14 against the Pirates, and Dempster was 3-0 with a 3.73 ERA in five starts against them since 2008.

Chicago stranded 12 runners, with Aramis Ramirez going 0-for-4 and leaving four on base.

"Right now, I'm off -- everything," said Ramirez, who is hitting .149. "I'm late on the fastball, early on the breaking ball. I don't know what's going on. I've just got to keep working and figure out what's wrong."

Paul Maholm (2-2) got the decision despite allowing the two solo home runs and six other hits over six innings. Evan Meek pitched out of a two-on jam in the seventh, striking out Soriano and Xavier Nady. Joel Hanrahan pitched a scoreless eighth.

The Cubs led 2-1 after Soriano hit his seventh homer -- and fifth in four games -- in the fourth inning and Soto added a two-out drive in the sixth, his fourth. Soriano, coming off a two-homer game Sunday, went deep for the fourth consecutive game.

"We finally took the lead and they hit the two-run homer and that was the end of that," Cubs manager Lou Piniella said. "Too many wasted opportunities."

Notes

The Pirates placed reliever Brendan Donnelly (rib cage muscle) on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to April 28 and recalled OF-1B Steve Pearce from Triple-A Indianapolis. ... OF John Raynor, a Rule 5 pick, was returned by Pittsburgh to Florida after he cleared waivers. ... Cubs RH Carlos Silva does not need a cortisone injection in his wrist as originally thought and will start Saturday against the Reds. ... Soriano's homer was his 15th against Pittsburgh since 2007. He has four homers in 21 at-bats against Maholm. ... LaRoche was 3-for-20 before homering with one out in the first.

 
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
Pittsburgh

R. Church
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
Pittsburgh

A. LaRoche
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 1
 
Chicago Cubs
Ryan Theriot, SS5020011 .357
Jeff Baker, 2B4010005 .217
   a- Mike Fontenot, PH1000010 .299
Derrek Lee, 1B4010100 .222
Marlon Byrd, CF3000102 .343
Aramis Ramirez, 3B4000114 .149
Alfonso Soriano, LF4111012 .321
Xavier Nady, RF3000112 .176
Geovany Soto, C3111101 .323
Ryan Dempster, P2020000 .250
   b- Kosuke Fukudome, PH1000000 .338
    Sean Marshall, P0000000 .000
Totals3428255  
a-struck out for Baker in the 9th
b-grounded out for Dempster in the 8th
Batting
2B - Ryan Theriot (4, Maholm)
HR - Alfonso Soriano (7, Maholm), Geovany Soto (4, Maholm)
SH - Ryan Dempster (7)
RBI - Alfonso Soriano (18), Geovany Soto (9)
2-OUT RBI - Geovany Soto (2)
SB - Marlon Byrd (3, 2nd base off Maholm/Doumit)
Team LOB - 12
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Marlon Byrd 1
Chicago Cubs
Ryan Dempster (L,2-2) 7833172 2.95
Sean Marshall 1000000 2.40
Pitches-Strikes - Ryan Dempster 107-73, Sean Marshall 13-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ryan Dempster 7-6, Sean Marshall 3-0
Batters Faced - Ryan Dempster 29, Sean Marshall 3
Pittsburgh Pirates
Akinori Iwamura, 2B4000013 .204
Andy LaRoche, 3B4121012 .333
Ryan Doumit, C4000010 .293
Garrett Jones, RF3110110 .225
Ryan Church, CF4122001 .292
Lastings Milledge, LF3000001 .226
Jeff Clement, 1B3000020 .164
Ronny Cedeno, SS3020000 .220
Paul Maholm, P1000010 .000
    Evan Meek, P0000000 .000
   a- Delwyn Young, PH1010000 .220
    Joel Hanrahan, P0000000 .000
    Octavio Dotel, P0000000 .000
Totals3038317  
a-singled for Meek in the 7th
Batting
HR - Andy LaRoche (3, Dempster), Ryan Church (1, Dempster)
SH - Paul Maholm (1)
RBI - Andy LaRoche (7), Ryan Church 2 (6)
2-OUT RBI - Ryan Church 2 (5)
Team LOB - 5
Pittsburgh Pirates
Paul Maholm (W,2-2) 6822312 4.06
Evan Meek (H,1) 1000120 0.56
Joel Hanrahan (H,3) 1000010 8.64
Octavio Dotel (S,4) 1000110 9.58
HBP - Byrd (by Evan Meek)
WP - Evan Meek (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Paul Maholm 102-59, Evan Meek 23-9, Joel Hanrahan 11-8, Octavio Dotel 17-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Paul Maholm 7-10, Joel Hanrahan 2-0, Octavio Dotel 1-1
Batters Faced - Paul Maholm 29, Evan Meek 5, Joel Hanrahan 3, Octavio Dotel 4
Game Information
Attendance - 10972
Game Time - 2:28
Temperature - 73
Umpires - Home - Dale Scott, First Base - Jerry Meals, Second Base - Mark Wegner, Third Base - Dan Iassogna