Pittsburgh at Chicago

Chi. Cubs
W: S. Marshall (1-0) L: E. Meek (0-1)
S: C. Marmol (1)
HR: PIT - G. Jones (1)   CHC - None

Cubs get clutch hit from DeWitt to rally past Bucs

CBSSports.com wire reports

CHICAGO -- Paul Maholm pitched well enough to win. He just didn't go deep enough into the game to lock it down.

Maholm was OK with it, though. He still has plenty of confidence in relievers Evan Meek and Chris Resop.

"We had the game and let it get away from us," Maholm said. "But you know what? I'll hand the ball to Meek every time. Everybody is going to have bad outings."

The Cubs trailed by three before scoring five time in the bottom of the eighth to pull out the 5-3 victory Saturday at Wrigley Field.

Chicago broke through as Meek (0-1) walked pinch-hitter Kosuke Fukudome and threw a wild pitch before Starlin Castro hit an RBI double to make it 3-1. Lyle Overbay then misplayed Marlon Byrd's grounder for an error as Castro scored to make it 3-2. Alfonso Soriano tied it with an RBI single and then Blake DeWitt hit a go-ahead two-run double off Resop.

Meek said a mix of poor pitch selection and a lack of command contributed to the meltdown. Of the five runs he was charged with, three were unearned.

"When you go out there and walk the leadoff guy, it's never a good sign," Meek said.

"I go out there every day expecting to get three outs and get them quickly. ... It's a very confident feeling, so going out there and not doing my job and not making the pitches, walking the leadoff guy, that weighs on you hard. Your team got three runs on the board, your starter did a great job and you're expected to get three outs. It just wasn't a good day for me."

Pirates manager Clint Hurdle saw the loss as a learning experience for his young club, adding now the important thing is to win the series. Pittsburgh captured the season opener 6-3 Friday.

"We had shots, just didn't get it done," Hurdle said. "We didn't put a ballgame away. We've got to do that."

Cubs starter Carlos Zambrano left in the seventh with cramping in his right hand, one batter after he'd given up a leadoff homer to Garrett Jones that gave the Pirates a 3-0 lead.

Sean Marshall (1-0) got the victory with a scoreless eighth and Carlos Marmol pitched the ninth for his first save.

Zambrano walked two in the top of the first before Pedro Alvarez pulled a two-out RBI single to right to give the Pirates an early 1-0 lead.

Neil Walker, who'd hit a grand slam in Pittsburgh's win Friday, had an RBI double in the third after Jose Tabata reached on an infield single. After Andrew McCutchen walked to put runners at first and second with no outs, Zambrano averted a big inning. He struck out Overbay and then raced to cover first and complete a double play that was started by first baseman Carlos Pena on Alvarez's broken-bat grounder.

And Maholm kept the Cubs off balance. He retired the first eight batters.

"Am I happy that I got through 6 2-3 with no runs? Yeah, but we ended up losing. I'm not the happiest camper right now. It's one of 34 or 35 starts," Maholm said.

"We'll build and see where we're at."


  • It was five degrees warmer than Friday, and was accompanied by a 12-mph wind blowing left to right. The crowd was much smaller, announced at 35,782 compared to 41,358 a day earlier
  • Matt Garza, who will make his Cubs debut Sunday, spent most of Saturday leading cheers on the dugout steps while wearing sunglasses and a sweat shirt.
  • Jones had a quick start last season when he hit two homers in the opener against the Dodgers. He had four homers against the Cubs last season when Pittsburgh won 10 of 15 games.
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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Blake DeWitt, in a pinch-hitting role, delivers a two-out, two-run double to cap a five-run eighth for Chicago. (AP)
Blake DeWitt, in a pinch-hitting role, delivers a two-out, two-run double to cap a five-run eighth for Chicago. (AP)

Players of the Game

S. Castro
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 0

P. Maholm
IP 6.2
H 5
ER 0
BB 2
K 3

Related Video

Pittsburgh Pirates
Jose Tabata, LF2210111 .333
Neil Walker, 2B4011033 .375
Andrew McCutchen, CF3000102 .286
Lyle Overbay, 1B3000112 .143
Pedro Alvarez, 3B4011011 .125
Ryan Doumit, C4000012 .143
Garrett Jones, RF4111020 .167
Ronny Cedeno, SS3000110 .000
Paul Maholm, P3010001 .333
    Jose Veras, P0000000 .000
    Evan Meek, P0000000 .000
    Chris Resop, P0000000 .000
2B - Neil Walker (2, Zambrano)
HR - Garrett Jones (1, Zambrano)
SH - Jose Tabata (1)
RBI - Neil Walker (5), Pedro Alvarez (1), Garrett Jones (1)
2-OUT RBI - Pedro Alvarez (1)
Team LOB - 5
DP - Maholm-Walker-Overbay
E - Lyle Overbay (1, Misplayed grounder)
Pittsburgh Pirates
Paul Maholm 6.2500230 0.00
Jose Veras (H,2) 0.1000000 0.00
Evan Meek (BS,1; L,0-1) 0.2352100 10.80
Chris Resop 0.1100100 0.00
WP - Paul Maholm (1), Evan Meek (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Paul Maholm 92-63, Jose Veras 4-3, Evan Meek 29-20, Chris Resop 12-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Paul Maholm 9-7, Evan Meek 1-2, Chris Resop 1-0
Batters Faced - Paul Maholm 26, Jose Veras 1, Evan Meek 7, Chris Resop 3
Chicago Cubs
Jeff Baker, 2B3010001 .333
   a- Kosuke Fukudome, PH-RF1100102 .400
Starlin Castro, SS4121001 .556
Marlon Byrd, CF4100002 .111
Aramis Ramirez, 3B3000102 .250
Geovany Soto, C4120002 .250
Carlos Pena, 1B3000113 .167
Alfonso Soriano, LF4111011 .125
    Carlos Marmol, P0000000 .000
Tyler Colvin, RF-LF3010101 .250
Carlos Zambrano, P2010012 .500
    Kerry Wood, P0000000 .000
   b- Reed Johnson, PH1000001 .000
    Sean Marshall, P0000000 .000
   c- Blake DeWitt, PH1012000 .500
    Darwin Barney, 2B0000000 .500
a-walked for Baker in the 8th
b-popped out for Wood in the 7th
c-doubled for Marshall in the 8th
2B - Jeff Baker (1, Maholm), Starlin Castro (1, Meek), Carlos Zambrano (1, Maholm), Blake DeWitt (1, Resop)
RBI - Starlin Castro (1), Alfonso Soriano (1), Blake DeWitt 2 (2)
2-OUT RBI - Alfonso Soriano (1), Blake DeWitt 2 (2)
Team LOB - 8
DP - Pena-Castro-Zambrano
Chicago Cubs
Carlos Zambrano 6533341 4.50
Kerry Wood 1000120 0.00
Sean Marshall (W,1-0) 1000010 0.00
Carlos Marmol (S,1) 1000030 0.00
Pitches-Strikes - Carlos Zambrano 95-59, Kerry Wood 21-13, Sean Marshall 16-9, Carlos Marmol 15-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Carlos Zambrano 5-8, Kerry Wood 1-0
Batters Faced - Carlos Zambrano 25, Kerry Wood 4, Sean Marshall 3, Carlos Marmol 3
Game Information
Attendance - 35782
Game Time - 2:52
Temperature - 46
Umpires - Home - Bill Miller, First Base - Phil Cuzzi, Second Base - James Hoye, Third Base - Tom Hallion