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Pittsburgh at Chicago

Pirates 7, Cubs 6

CBSSports.com wire reports

CHICAGO -- The Pirates had a four-run lead in the first inning and were up two runs after five.

Both times the Cubs came back, with Starlin Castro providing much of the power.

In the end, the Pirates were finally able to shut down Chicago.

Pedro Alvarez had two hits and two RBI, and Russell Martin drove in the go-ahead run on a sacrifice fly in the eighth inning as Pittsburgh beat the Cubs 7-6 on Tuesday night.

Jason Grilli closed with a perfect ninth for his second save in three chances.

"We just kept playing," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "It's not about what's not happening. It's about what we've got to do next. That's just the way we kept going. It was a fist fight off the mound for us most of the night. We executed extremely well in the first inning on offense and kept building innings."

Cubs reliever Pedro Strop (0-1) walked two batters in the eighth and recorded only one out before being replaced by left-hander James Russell. Russell walked Alvarez to load the bases and Martin followed with a fly ball to right field that made it 7-6.

"Had we laid down after the first inning, giving up four runs, I would have been extremely disappointed," Cubs manager Rick Renteria said. "But we didn't. We kept chipping away. I think that's what we're talking about. We have to fight. We have to keep battling every day and if they keep doing that we're going to get our situation where both sides of our game gets to where it needs to be."

The Cubs tied the game in the seventh against Tony Watson (1-0) on Anthony Rizzo's hit up the middle scoring Emilio Bonifacio, who went 3 for 5 and is batting .515.

Castro hit a game-tying three-run homer in the third and a solo shot in the sixth against Pirates starter Charlie Morton for his first career multi-homer game.

"The two pitches that they scored four of their runs on were just terrible pitches," Morton said of Castro's homers. "It could have turned out a lot better had I executed a little bit better even instead of giving up a home run. The guys picked me up."

Edwin Jackson gave up six runs on nine hits in 4 2/3 innings. Jackson struggled with his command, walking four (one intentional) and hitting a batter. Morton didn't fare much better allowing five runs on eight hits in six innings.

Jackson's troubles began on the game's first pitch with a lead-off double by Starling Marte. It sparked a four-run inning. Nine Pirates batted in the first.

Alvarez doubled to score Marte and Andrew McCutchen for a 2-0 Pirates lead. Neil Walker added an RBI single and Travis Ishikawa's sacrifice fly made it 4-0.

Bonifacio's two-out single to center field in the second inning scored Ryan Sweeney from second base to cut the Pirates' lead to 4-1.

Jackson walked Marte and Travis Snider in the fourth to bring up McCutchen, who came through with an RBI single that made it 5-4. Ishikawa's triple in the fifth scored Martin, who doubled to start the inning, and extended Pittsburgh's lead to 6-4.

"He played more of a supporting role, you can see he's being pitched more difficult," Hurdle said of McCutchen. "A lot of pitches, sequences, balls aren't there to hit but when they crossed the plate a couple times today he squared up and hit them really hard. He's a real good player."

Renteria was ejected in the top of the ninth inning by home plate umpire Jeff Nelson for arguing balls and strikes. It was Renteria's first ejection.


Renteria said the Cubs are sticking with the five-man rotation as constructed meaning RHP Carlos Villanueva will stay in the rotation and not move back to the bullpen... Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said he didn't have a problem with top prospect Javier Baez's recent ejection at Triple-A Iowa labeling it a "great development experience" for the 21-year-old shortstop.. Epstein said the Cubs are being cautious with Double-A Tennessee OF prospect Jorge Soler (sore right hamstring) by putting him on the seven-day disabled list. Soler aggravated his hamstring during the first minor league game of the season while running to second base on a double.. On the 40th anniversary of Hank Aaron hitting the 715th home run of his career to set an MLB record, Pirates manager Clint Hurdle fondly remembered the moment. "I wasn't watching at the start and my dad tried to tune in the radio because we were in Florida," Hurdle said. "We listened to a lot of the games on radio. As it turned out, it was a pretty magical moment."

Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
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Pittsburgh Pirates
Starling Marte, LF3310212 .310
Travis Snider, RF4000111 .250
Andrew McCutchen, CF3121200 .269
Pedro Alvarez, 3B4122103 .192
Russell Martin, C3221010 .250
Neil Walker, 2B5021003 .250
Travis Ishikawa, 1B4012002 .294
Jordy Mercer, SS4010112 .174
Charlie Morton, P2000023 .000
   a-Jose Tabata, PH1000002 .250
   Tony Watson, P0000000 .000
   Mark Melancon, P0000000 .000
   b-Josh Harrison, PH1000010 .000
   Jason Grilli, P0000000 .000
a-grounded out for Morton in the 7th
b-struck out for Melancon in the 9th
2B - Starling Marte (2, Jackson), Pedro Alvarez (1, Jackson), Russell Martin (1, Jackson)
3B - Travis Ishikawa (1, Jackson)
SF - Russell Martin (1), Travis Ishikawa (1)
SH - Charlie Morton (1)
RBI - Andrew McCutchen (3), Pedro Alvarez 2 (5), Russell Martin (4), Neil Walker (3), Travis Ishikawa 2 (3)
2-OUT RBI - Andrew McCutchen (1)
SB - Starling Marte 2 (2, 2nd base off Jackson/Castillo)
Team LOB - 11
DP - Ishikawa
E - Starling Marte (1, Dropped fly)
Pittsburgh Pirates
Charlie Morton 6855152 3.75
Tony Watson (W,2-0; BS,1) 1211010 2.08
Mark Melancon (H,3) 1000010 2.25
Jason Grilli (S,2) 1000010 2.25
Pitches-Strikes - Charlie Morton 101-74, Tony Watson 20-12, Mark Melancon 9-8, Jason Grilli 10-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Charlie Morton 9-4, Tony Watson 1-1, Mark Melancon 1-1, Jason Grilli 1-1
Batters Faced - Charlie Morton 27, Tony Watson 5, Mark Melancon 3, Jason Grilli 3
Chicago (N.L.) Cubs
Emilio Bonifacio, 2B5131000 .515
Ryan Kalish, LF4000013 .182
Anthony Rizzo, 1B3121100 .296
Nate Schierholtz, RF4000012 .174
Luis Valbuena, 3B4110023 .250
Starlin Castro, SS4234000 .310
Ryan Sweeney, CF4110010 .118
Welington Castillo, C4000012 .095
Edwin Jackson, P2000012 .000
   Brian Schlitter, P0000000 .000
   a-Mike Olt, PH1000000 .071
   Justin Grimm, P0000000 .000
   Pedro Strop, P0000000 .000
   James Russell, P0000000 .000
   Jose Veras, P0000000 .000
   b-Junior Lake, PH1000010 .278
a-grounded out for Schlitter in the 6th
b-struck out for Veras in the 9th
HR - Starlin Castro 2 (2, Morton)
SH - Ryan Kalish (1)
RBI - Emilio Bonifacio (2), Anthony Rizzo (4), Starlin Castro 4 (6)
2-OUT RBI - Emilio Bonifacio (2)
SB - Emilio Bonifacio (5, 3rd base off Watson/Martin)
Team LOB - 5
Chicago (N.L.) Cubs
Edwin Jackson 4.2966440 6.30
Brian Schlitter 1.1000000 1.80
Justin Grimm 1200010 0.00
Pedro Strop (L,0-1) 0.1011210 2.45
James Russell 0.2000100 3.38
Jose Veras 1000010 10.13
IBB - Mercer by Edwin Jackson
HBP - Martin (by Edwin Jackson)
Pitches-Strikes - Edwin Jackson 85-52, Brian Schlitter 16-8, Justin Grimm 17-11, Pedro Strop 14-6, James Russell 18-8, Jose Veras 14-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Edwin Jackson 2-7, Brian Schlitter 4-0, Justin Grimm 1-1, James Russell 1-1, Jose Veras 2-0
Batters Faced - Edwin Jackson 27, Brian Schlitter 4, Justin Grimm 5, Pedro Strop 3, James Russell 3, Jose Veras 3
Game Information
Attendance - 26177
Game Time - 3:20
Temperature - 48
Umpires - Home - Jeff Nelson, First Base - Laz Diaz, Second Base - Mark Carlson, Third Base - Scott Barry