Pittsburgh at Chicago

Final 11th
Chi. Cubs
W: M. Guerrier (3-4) L: B. Morris (4-3)
HR: PIT - S. Marte (9)   CHC - S. Hairston (8)

Navarro's pinch-hit sac fly sends Cubs past Pirates in 11

CBSSports.com wire reports

CHICAGO -- Dioner Navarro welcomes the chance to come off the bench to hit in a big spot late in the game.

The veteran catcher delivered a pinch-hit sacrifice fly in the 11th inning to give the Chicago Cubs a 4-3 victory against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday.

"Ninety percent of the time when you pinch-hit in key situations, I don't want to sound cocky, but I kind of like to be in that situation," Navarro said. "It's the best against me and I love the challenge every time I get the opportunity."

Navarro is 6 for 14 as a pinch hitter this season with two home runs and four RBI.

"Navarro has been doing it all year, constantly off the bench and getting the job done," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. "It's a nice asset to have. Our bench has done a good job all year."

Anthony Rizzo sparked the winning rally with a leadoff single. He advanced on Alfonso Soriano's single and went to third when Pirates catcher Russell Martin threw the ball into center field while trying to pick Rizzo off second.

Luis Valbuena was walked intentionally before Navarro's fly ball to right off Bryan Morris (4-3) gave the Cubs their seventh victory in the past 11 games.

"We know we have a better team than the record shows," Cubs starter Carlos Villanueva said. "We've lost some heartbreaking close games. You take back at least half of those games and we're in a better position. Right now, I think it's important for us to keep playing well into the All-Star break and have a strong second half."

Matt Guerrier (3-4) pitched two scoreless innings for his first victory with Chicago. He was acquired in the trade that sent Carlos Marmol to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday.

The Cubs had a 3-2 lead and the Pirates were down to their last strike in the ninth when Starling Marte drove a 3-2 pitch from closer Kevin Gregg over the wall in center for his ninth home run.

It was Gregg's second blown save in 17 opportunities. He began the inning with consecutive strikeouts against Jordy Mercer and pinch hitter Travis Snider.

"We were one strike away there," Gregg said. "I made some good pitches in to [Marte], made him conscious of the ball in. I felt like I made a pretty good pitch away from him and he did a good job of hitting and going to get it."

Chicago (38-48) improved to 20-18 since it got off to a lackluster start. It has won five of its last seven series.

"To win two out of three, it was nice beating the best team in baseball," Sveum said.

Pittsburgh (53-34) has dropped three of four to fall into a tie with St. Louis for the NL Central lead and the best record in the majors.

"What hurt us earlier was the fourth and sixth innings with a runner at third and we weren't able to score them," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "But we continued to play hard, we continued to battle. We get to the ninth inning with two outs and two strike and Marte rides a ball out of the ballpark. These games just battle-test you."

The Cubs grabbed a 3-2 lead when Scott Hairston connected for a pinch-hit solo home run against Tony Watson in the eighth inning. It was Hairston's eighth homer.

"I was happy to contribute today and it was nice getting the win," Hairston said. "Navarro came off the bench after waiting four hours, came up huge for us, and throughout the year we're going to remember this and build on it. To win two out of three against a team like Pittsburgh, you have to feel good about that."

Pirates right-hander A.J. Burnett came off the 15-day disabled list after being sidelined by a strained right calf and pitched five solid innings. He allowed two runs, one earned, and three hits.

Villanueva (2-4) lasted only four innings, by design. He was making his first start since Scott Feldman was traded to Baltimore, opening a spot in the rotation, and Sveum said before the game he likely would keep Villanueva to a 75-pitch count.

Villanueva allowed one run and three hits while throwing 69 pitches. He struck out five and walked one.

"Winning the series against these guys, they're in first place, and the last couple of series we've won, so I think that definitely cures a lot of aches and pains and everybody is happy," Villanueva said.

Villanueva also helped himself in the third with a broken-bat leadoff single. He moved to third on Starlin Castro's one-out double and scored on an error by first baseman Garrett Jones. Alfonso Soriano's sacrifice fly drove in Castro, who moved to third on Jones' error.

Burnett returned the favor in the fifth. He led off with a single and was erased on a fielder's choice by Marte. But Jose Tabata followed with a double to deep left that tied it at 2.

Tabata also doubled and scored on Andrew McCutchen's double in the fourth.


  • Cubs OF Brian Bogusevic, who was called up from Triple-A Iowa on June 25, remains day to day with hamstring tightness. He hit for Villanueva in the fourth and struck out.
  • The Cubs make up a rainout with the crosstown White Sox on Monday at U.S. Cellular Field. Cubs RHP Matt Garza (4-1, 3.45 ERA) faces White Sox LHP Hector Santiago (3-5, 3.50 ERA).
  • The Cubs wrap up this season's interleague slate with a two-game series against the visiting Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday and Wednesday.
  • RHP Ryan Reid was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis to make room for Burnett.
  • The Pirates start a six-game homestand Monday that includes three-game series vs. Oakland and the Mets. Monday's game features a pair of All-Star pitcher, with Jeff Locke (8-1, 2.12 ERA) facing the A's Bartolo Colon (11-3, 2.78 ERA).
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Players of the Game

S. Hairston
AB 1
R 1
H 1
HR 1

S. Marte
AB 5
R 2
H 1
HR 1

Related Video

Pittsburgh Pirates
Starling Marte, LF5211011 .292
Jose Tabata, RF3121210 .296
Andrew McCutchen, CF4021102 .303
Garrett Jones, 1B5000014 .256
Pedro Alvarez, 3B5020012 .246
Russell Martin, C3000201 .249
Brandon Inge, 2B4000013 .190
Jordy Mercer, SS5010020 .266
A.J. Burnett, P2010010 .069
    Gaby Sanchez, PH1000012 .235
    Travis Snider, PH-RF2000011 .224
a-struck out for Burnett in the 6th
b-struck out for Mazzaro in the 9th
2B - Jose Tabata 2 (8, Villanueva), Andrew McCutchen (25, Villanueva)
HR - Starling Marte (9, Gregg)
SH - Brandon Inge (2)
RBI - Starling Marte (27), Jose Tabata (8), Andrew McCutchen (46)
2-OUT RBI - Starling Marte (13), Jose Tabata (7)
SB - Russell Martin (6, 2nd base off Villanueva/Castillo)
Team LOB - 9
E - Garrett Jones (5, Misplayed grounder), Russell Martin (1, Throwing)
Pittsburgh Pirates
A.J. Burnett 5321230 3.05
Tony Watson 2111011 3.48
Vin Mazzaro 1000030 2.90
Mark Melancon 1000000 0.85
Bryan Morris (L,4-3) 1.1411100 2.75
IBB - Valbuena by Bryan Morris
Pitches-Strikes - A.J. Burnett 66-43, Tony Watson 23-14, Vin Mazzaro 13-9, Mark Melancon 7-4, Bryan Morris 33-19
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - A.J. Burnett 10-3, Tony Watson 2-3, Mark Melancon 1-2, Bryan Morris 1-2
Batters Faced - A.J. Burnett 21, Tony Watson 7, Vin Mazzaro 3, Mark Melancon 3, Bryan Morris 8
Chicago (N.L.) Cubs
Julio Borbon, CF5010011 .203
Starlin Castro, SS5110011 .233
Anthony Rizzo, 1B5111010 .242
Alfonso Soriano, LF4011020 .256
Luis Valbuena, 3B3000201 .243
Nate Schierholtz, RF4010000 .273
Darwin Barney, 2B4000011 .215
Welington Castillo, C3000102 .270
Carlos Villanueva, P1110000 .222
    Brian Bogusevic, PH1000011 .290
    Scott Hairston, PH1111000 .172
    Dave Sappelt, RF1010000 .180
a-hit a sacrifice fly for Guerrier in the 11th
b-struck out for Villanueva in the 4th
c-homered for Strop in the 7th
2B - Starlin Castro (20, Burnett)
HR - Scott Hairston (8, Watson)
SF - Alfonso Soriano (3), Dioner Navarro (1)
RBI - Anthony Rizzo (49), Alfonso Soriano (44), Dioner Navarro (19), Scott Hairston (19)
2-OUT RBI - Scott Hairston (4)
CS - Dave Sappelt (1, 2nd base by Morris/Martin)
Team LOB - 7
DP - Castro-Barney-Rizzo, Castro-Barney-Rizzo-Barney-Castro-Rizzo, Castro-Barney-Rizzo-Barney-Castro-Rizzo-Barney-Castro-Rizzo
E - Darwin Barney (1, Misplayed grounder)
Chicago (N.L.) Cubs
Carlos Villanueva 4311150 3.39
Hector Rondon 1.2311220 6.14
Pedro Strop 1.1000110 6.31
James Russell (H,13) 0.1100000 3.00
Blake Parker (H,2) 0.2000000 2.45
Kevin Gregg (BS,2) 1111121 1.78
Matt Guerrier (W,3-4) 2100000 4.11
Pitches-Strikes - Carlos Villanueva 69-40, Hector Rondon 36-19, Pedro Strop 16-9, James Russell 7-5, Blake Parker 6-4, Kevin Gregg 26-16, Matt Guerrier 21-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Carlos Villanueva 5-2, Hector Rondon 3-0, Pedro Strop 2-0, James Russell 1-0, Matt Guerrier 4-1
Batters Faced - Carlos Villanueva 16, Hector Rondon 10, Pedro Strop 4, James Russell 2, Blake Parker 2, Kevin Gregg 5, Matt Guerrier 6
Game Information
Attendance - 33146
Game Time - 3:44
Temperature - 88
Umpires - Home - Kerwin Danley, First Base - Lance Barksdale, Second Base - Victor Carapazza, Third Base - Gary Cederstrom