|Chi. Cubs (16-22) «||0||1||0||0||0||0||2||1||x||4||8||1|
CHICAGO -- Xavier Nady has had quite a journey since he last was successful as a pinch-hitter.
"I knew it had been a long freakin' time," Nady said Sunday after he singled home the go-ahead run in the eighth inning as Chicago rallied to defeat Pittsburgh 4-3 -- the Cubs' first victory over the Pirates following seven losses.
Nady had been hitless in 10 at-bats as a pinch hitter, including 0 for 9 this season, since delivering July 19, 2008, when he was with Pittsburgh.
"Pinch-hitting is difficult, and I have a lot of respect for the guys that have been good at it," Nady said. "You sit around waiting for your chance. You might go a couple of days without playing. Then you come up ... and a lot of times it's a crucial at-bat."
The Pirates, who had outscored the Cubs 32-14 in winning their first five games against them this season, were going for their first series sweep at Wrigley Field in 10 years.
"It's great to take the series, but being ahead ... you want to win the games you're supposed to win," said reliever Evan Meek, who couldn't protect a 3-1 seventh-inning lead for starter Ross Ohlendorf.
After Cubs right fielder Kosuke Fukudome prevented two runs with a diving catch on Ohlendorf's fly, the Cubs rallied to tie it in their half of the seventh.
"Game saver," Cubs starter Ted Lilly said of Fukudome's play, which came on a line drive after Ohlendorf had faked a bunt. "He was playing really shallow and had to run that down. It was impressive."
Ohlendorf opened Chicago's seventh by walking Mike Fontenot. Meek then gave up Fukudome's two-out single and threw a wild pitch that allowed Fontenot to score. Shortstop Ronny Cedeno bobbled Starlin Castro's grounder for an error before Derrek Lee singled home Fukudome.
"I wanted to stay in," said Ohlendorf, who allowed two runs on four hits in his second start since missing a month with back spasms. "But when you walk a guy on four pitches to start the inning, you're not really showing the manager that you're good to go."
Alfonso Soriano singled off D.J. Carrasco (1-1) with one out in the eighth, stole second and kept going to third on a wild pitch. After Geovany Soto drew a two-out walk, Nady lined a 2-2 pitch to right field.
"We got the big hits at the big moments," Soriano said. "That's what we've got to do more often."
The Cubs, who won for only the third time in 12 games and are 16-22 this season, repeatedly have failed in the clutch. A productive Nady might help.
He had 97 RBI in 2008, which he split between Pittsburgh and New York, but missed most of last season with the Yankees after Tommy John surgery. The Cubs signed him for $3.3 million, hoping to create a four-outfielder rotation, but Nady still hasn't recovered fully and has received limited outfield play.
"I'm encouraged that the elbow feels great," Nady said. "It's a long season. I'll get my opportunities, and I just have to be ready to contribute."
|Xavier Nady comes up with a big pinch-hit RBI single to help the Cubs get their first win over the Pirates. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Lastings Milledge, LF||3||0||1||2||1||1||0||.246|
|Andy LaRoche, 3B||4||0||0||0||0||0||5||.264|
|Andrew McCutchen, CF||4||0||1||0||0||1||0||.340|
|Ryan Church, RF||4||0||0||0||0||1||1||.235|
|Ryan Doumit, C||3||1||1||0||1||0||0||.263|
|Steve Pearce, 1B||3||1||1||0||1||0||1||.176|
|Bobby Crosby, 2B||4||1||2||1||0||0||0||.250|
|Ronny Cedeno, SS||2||0||0||0||1||0||2||.231|
|a- Delwyn Young, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.240|
|Ross Ohlendorf, P||3||0||0||0||0||2||5||.000|
|Evan Meek, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|D.J. Carrasco, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Javier Lopez, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b- Garrett Jones, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.254|
|a-struck out for Cedeno in the 9th|
|b-struck out for Lopez in the 9th|
|2B - Ryan Doumit (7, Lilly)|
|RBI - Lastings Milledge 2 (14), Bobby Crosby (6)|
|2-OUT RBI - Lastings Milledge 2 (5)|
|CS - Andrew McCutchen (4, 2nd base by Lilly/Soto)|
|Team LOB - 6|
|E - Ronny Cedeno (3, Misplayed grounder)|
|Evan Meek (BS,2)||1||2||1||0||0||0||0||0.72|
|D.J. Carrasco (L,1-1)||0.2||2||1||1||1||0||0||4.15|
|WP - Evan Meek (2), D.J. Carrasco (2)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Ross Ohlendorf 73-43, Evan Meek 22-13, D.J. Carrasco 19-10, Javier Lopez 7-4|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ross Ohlendorf 5-10, Evan Meek 1-3, D.J. Carrasco 1-1, Javier Lopez 1-0|
|Batters Faced - Ross Ohlendorf 25, Evan Meek 6, D.J. Carrasco 5, Javier Lopez 1|
|Kosuke Fukudome, RF||5||1||1||0||0||0||2||.311|
|Starlin Castro, SS||4||0||0||0||0||0||0||.323|
|Derrek Lee, 1B||4||0||2||1||0||0||0||.238|
|Aramis Ramirez, 3B||3||1||0||0||1||1||3||.167|
|Marlon Byrd, CF||4||0||2||0||0||0||0||.345|
|Alfonso Soriano, LF||3||1||2||1||1||0||2||.331|
|Mike Fontenot, 2B||3||1||0||0||1||0||4||.298|
|Geovany Soto, C||3||0||0||0||1||1||3||.301|
|Ted Lilly, P||2||0||0||0||0||1||2||.000|
|a- Tyler Colvin, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.264|
|Sean Marshall, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b- Xavier Nady, PH||1||0||1||1||0||0||0||.200|
|Carlos Marmol, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-flied out for Lilly in the 7th|
|b-singled for Marshall in the 8th|
|2B - Marlon Byrd (16, Ohlendorf), Alfonso Soriano (13, Ohlendorf)|
|RBI - Derrek Lee (17), Alfonso Soriano (23), Xavier Nady (8)|
|2-OUT RBI - Derrek Lee (11), Xavier Nady (6)|
|SB - Alfonso Soriano (2, 3rd base off Carrasco/Doumit)|
|Team LOB - 9|
|E - Alfonso Soriano (4, Misplayed grounder)|
|Sean Marshall (W,2-1)||1||0||0||0||1||1||0||2.45|
|Carlos Marmol (S,6)||1||0||0||0||0||2||0||1.50|
|IBB - Cedeno by Ted Lilly|
|Pitches-Strikes - Ted Lilly 109-70, Sean Marshall 14-9, Carlos Marmol 15-10|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ted Lilly 3-13, Sean Marshall 2-0, Carlos Marmol 1-0|
|Batters Faced - Ted Lilly 29, Sean Marshall 4, Carlos Marmol 3|
|Attendance - 40636|
|Game Time - 2:36|
|Temperature - 58|
|Umpires - Home - Paul Nauert, First Base - Brian Gorman, Second Base - Ted Barrett, Third Base - Tony Randazzo|