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Chicago at Pittsburgh

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Chi. Cubs (40-56) «100022000570
Pittsburgh (54-42)000100000151

Maholm stays hot, Cubs handle Pirates

CBSSports.com wire reports
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PITTSBURGH -- All the trade speculation concerning Chicago Cubs pitchers seems to center around Ryan Dempster and Matt Garza.

Multiple reports say the Cubs have already agreed to trades for Dempster with both the Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Dodgers and are awaiting his approval as he has the right to veto any deal. Many clubs have reportedly also expressed interest in Garza.

However, Cubs left-hander Paul Maholm might also be becoming attractive to contenders as he has been one of the top pitchers in the major leagues in recent weeks.

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Maholm threw eight strong innings Tuesday night to win his fifth straight start and lead the Cubs over the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-1.

Moments after the final out, the contending Pirates announced they had acquired pitcher Wandy Rodriguez in a trade with Houston. The Pirates had reportedly been interesting in reacquiring Maholm.

Maholm gave up one run and four hits in handing the Pittsburgh its first back-to-back home losses since May 22-23. He struck out seven and walked one.

"I've made more than a few starts here and I enjoy pitching here," Maholm said of PNC Park. "Obviously, it's a pitcher-friendly park and if you make your pitches, it's going to work out well for a ground ball guy. I thought I did well and executed my pitches and it always help to get good defense and some runs to work with."

Maholm has allowed just four earned runs in 38 1/3 innings during his winning streak for an 0.94 ERA in that span. He spent his first seven seasons with the Pirates before signing with the Cubs as a free agent last winter.

"He's been great," Chicago manager Dale Sveum said. "He's working in all four pitches and throwing them for strikes. He's not giving in to the other team. He's not doing anything he shouldn't be doing. He's well prepared and is executing his game plan. It's been fun to watch."

With a week to go until the July 31 deadline for making trades without securing waivers on players, Maholm says he is not paying much attention to rumors.

"I know there are some [rumors] out there but I signed to pitch with the Cubs and I'm not thinking about other teams," Maholm said. "I like the team I'm with. I've enjoyed playing in Chicago this season. I guess we'll see what happens in the next week."

Starlin Castro and Alfonso Soriano each homered off James McDonald (10-4), who had his career-high five-game winning streak snapped. David DeJesus hit a tiebreaking two-run double for Chicago, which had totaled just three runs in its previous four games.

DeJesus doubled to left in the fifth inning to put the Cubs ahead 3-1, the hit coming after Maholm drew a two-out walk to load the bases. Geovany Soto and Luis Valbuena, who had both also walked, scored on the double.

McDonald was touched for five runs and five hits in six innings while walking three and striking out six.

"I was actually pretty pleased with this outing," McDonald said. "The ball came out of my hand really well. I felt like I had good command of my pitches, especially my curveball. They hit some good pitches and that's going to happen sometimes."

Castro hit his ninth homer with one out in the first inning to open the scoring.

Pittsburgh's Garrett Jones answered with a solo shot in the fourth, his 14th of the season and first off a lefty since last Aug. 16 when he hit a game-ending homer off St. Louis' Arthur Rhodes.

Soriano's two-run homer in the fifth, his 19th, pushed the Cubs' lead to 5-1.

Chicago closer Carlos Marmol pitched a scoreless ninth in a non-save situation, working around a leadoff double by Neil Walker and a walk to Andrew McCutchen.

The Pirates had provided McDonald with 44 runs of support in six starts during his winning streak.

Notes

  • Dempster (5-4, 2.11 ERA) is scheduled to start Wednesday against Pittsburgh RHP Kevin Correia in the finale of the three-game series. Dempster leads the major leagues in ERA.
  • Garza (strained right triceps) will not make his scheduled start Friday against the Cardinals and will be reevaluated that day. He was removed from his previous start last Saturday at St. Louis after pitching three scoreless innings. The Cubs are optimistic Garza will not need to be placed on the disabled list.
  • Correia will be looking to extend his five-game winning streak, the best of his career. Correia is 6-1 in his last 10 starts since losing five straight starts from April 29-May 20.
 
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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Alfonso Soriano celebrates in the dugout following a HR in the fifth inning, his 19th on the season. (US Presswire)
Alfonso Soriano celebrates in the dugout following a HR in the fifth inning, his 19th on the season. (US Presswire)

Players of the Game
Chicago

A. Soriano
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
Chicago

P. Maholm
IP 8.0
H 4
ER 1
BB 1
K 7
 
Chicago Cubs
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
David DeJesus, CF4012110 .264
Starlin Castro, SS5111015 .281
Anthony Rizzo, 1B4110001 .311
Alfonso Soriano, LF4122020 .274
    Carlos Marmol, P0000000 .000
Bryan LaHair, RF4000021 .278
    Tony Campana, RF0000000 .270
Geovany Soto, C3100111 .186
Darwin Barney, 2B4010001 .262
Luis Valbuena, 3B3100111 .211
Paul Maholm, P2000110 .054
   a- Reed Johnson, PH-LF1010000 .307
Totals3457549  
a-singled for Maholm in the 9th
Batting
2B - David DeJesus (17, McDonald)
HR - Starlin Castro (9, McDonald), Alfonso Soriano (19, McDonald)
RBI - David DeJesus 2 (25), Starlin Castro (46), Alfonso Soriano 2 (58)
2-OUT RBI - David DeJesus 2 (9)
SB - David DeJesus (4, 2nd base off Hughes/Barajas), Anthony Rizzo (1, 2nd base off McDonald/Barajas), Reed Johnson (2, 2nd base off Meek/Barajas)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Castro-Barney-Rizzo, Castro-Barney-Rizzo
Chicago Cubs
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Paul Maholm (W,9-6) 8411171 3.88
Carlos Marmol 1100100 5.04
Pitches-Strikes - Paul Maholm 110-70, Carlos Marmol 16-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Paul Maholm 8-8, Carlos Marmol 1-1
Batters Faced - Paul Maholm 28, Carlos Marmol 4
Pittsburgh Pirates
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Drew Sutton, LF4000031 .261
Neil Walker, 2B4010000 .293
Andrew McCutchen, CF3000110 .370
Garrett Jones, RF4111012 .263
Casey McGehee, 1B4010001 .239
Pedro Alvarez, 3B3010010 .231
Rod Barajas, C3000012 .209
Clint Barmes, SS3010000 .207
James McDonald, P0000100 .158
   a- Josh Harrison, PH1000000 .231
    Jared Hughes, P0000000 .000
    Brad Lincoln, P0000000 .200
   b- Gorkys Hernandez, PH1000001 .087
    Evan Meek, P0000000 .000
Totals3015127  
a-flied out for McDonald in the 6th
b-grounded into a double play for Lincoln in the 8th
Batting
2B - Neil Walker (23, Marmol)
HR - Garrett Jones (14, Maholm)
RBI - Garrett Jones (44)
2-OUT RBI - Garrett Jones (17)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
DP - Walker-Barmes-McGehee
E - Jared Hughes (1, Missed catch of throw)
Pittsburgh Pirates
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
James McDonald (L,10-4) 6555362 3.15
Jared Hughes 1000020 1.94
Brad Lincoln 1100010 2.81
Evan Meek 1100100 6.75
IBB - Valbuena by James McDonald
WP - James McDonald (3)
Pitches-Strikes - James McDonald 87-57, Jared Hughes 13-9, Brad Lincoln 13-11, Evan Meek 18-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - James McDonald 8-4, Jared Hughes 2-0, Brad Lincoln 1-0
Batters Faced - James McDonald 26, Jared Hughes 4, Brad Lincoln 3, Evan Meek 5
Game Information
Attendance - 32497
Game Time - 2:27
Temperature - 83
Umpires - Home - Sam Holbrook, First Base - Andy Fletcher, Second Base - Rob Drake, Third Base - Joe West