Pirates make efficient use of cool bats in 3-2 win over Cubs
Pirates Neil Walker is congratulated by third base coach Nick Leyva after hitting a home run in the first inning against the Cubs Wednesday afternoon.
Pirates centerfielder Andrew McCutchen gets a hit in the sixth inning against the Cubs this afternoon at PNC Park.
Cubs' David DeJesus is told to go back to second base by home plate umpire Andy Fletcher after a hit to deep center was reviewed and ruled a ground-rule double against the Pirates Wednesday afternoon.
Hal Sparks, the actor who played Zoltan in "Dude Where's My Car," gives the Zoltan sign to fans before the start of the game against the Cubs today. Sparks threw out the first pitch.
Hal Sparks, the actor of "Zoltan" fame in "Dude, Where's My Car," poses with Pirates' Neil Walker and Rod Barajas in the dugout before the start of the game against the Cubs this afternoon. Sparks threw out the first pitch.
Pirates Garrett Jones hits a double against the Cubs to score Andrew McCutchen in the sixth inning Wednesday afternoon.
Pirates Alex Presley, Andrew McCutchen and Gorkys Hernandez celebrate after defeating the Cubs Wednesday afternoon.
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The Pirates, struggling to get base hits against Chicago Cubs starter Ryan Dempster in the early innings of Wednesday's game, were as efficient as could be with those they could manage.
Their first two hits of the game were home runs, the second one tying the contest. They broke the tie in the sixth inning and went on to avoid the sweep.
The Pirates had their first lead of the series Sunday in their 3-2 win against the Cubs at PNC Park, finally overcoming the offensive issues that plagued them in the first two games.
Strangely enough, they did it against Cubs ace Ryan Dempster, who entered the game with a league-leading 2.11 ERA and has reportedly been the centerpiece in several trades for the rebuilding Cubs.
Dempster allowed three runs in six innings, striking out six without walking a batter.
The Pirates scored four runs in the three-game series. The previous time this season they scored only four runs in a three-game series was May 4-6, when they lost two of three to the Cincinnati Reds.
Kevin Correia allowed the Cubs to grab an early lead, but settled down over his final three innings.
Anthony Rizzo cranked an 0-2 pitch into the upper reaches of the seating sections above the Clemente Wall in right field in the first inning, giving the Cubs a 1-0 lead. The Cubs took the lead on a first-inning home run for the second game in a row.
Neil Walker tied it in the first with his own home run to right field, his ninth of the season.
The Cubs took the lead in the third. David DeJesus hit a ball to the top of the wall in right-center field, and after review, the play was ruled a double. Rizzo's single scored DeJesus to give the Cubs a 2-1 lead.
After Walker's home run, the Pirates did not reach base again until Michael McKenry homered to tie the game in the fifth. McKenry clanged his eighth of the year off the left-field foul pole, tying the game at 2-2. Dempster retired 13 consecutive batters between the homers.
Alex Presley hit a one-out single in the sixth, and went to third on Andrew McCutchen's single. Garrett Jones doubled to right field, scoring Presley and putting the Pirates up 3-2.
Correia allowed two runs on four hits in six innings, striking out four.
First Published July 25, 2012 3:14 pm