PNC Park | 1:35 | Dumatrait vs. Jason Marquis | Box
The Pirates and Cubs continue to play some strange ones. Consider:
1. The Cubs blew a 9th inning lead for the second straight game and lost in extras.
2. The Pirates won for the second straight day when Jason Bay delivered a run scoring single in extra frames. Prior to yesterday’s game, Bay had not driven home a run with a single all year.
3. Luis Rivas hit two homers in the same game for the first time in his career.
The Pirates hit three solo homers in the first three innings, but trailed 4-3. Rivas went yard twice and Xavier Nady hit solo homer. The Cubs plated four in the third, primarily behind a two run jack from Alfonso Soriano. The Bucs tied it in the sixth courtesy of an RBI from Jose Bautista.
After the third inning, Paul Maholm got grooving and allowed just two more hits through seven. But in the 8th, a Derrek Lee double and an Aramis Ramirez single pushed the Cubs fifth run across, breaking a tie game.
With pinch runner Brian Bixler on first with two gone in the 9th, Nate McLouth lifted a high fly ball to the edge of the warning track in left off of Carlos Marmol. Soriano appeared to track but then lost the ball in the sun and it glanced off his glove, allowing Bixler to score. Watching on WGN, I let out an audible AAAAAAAHHHHHHHH, which frightened my wife and caused my dog to bark.
The Pirates bullpen – Franquelis Osoria and Damaso Marte – did the job, combining for three scoreless innings. The Pirates plated the winner in the 11th off Jon Lieber. The inning started with a Chris Gomez. After a successful sacrifice from Bixler, McLouth was walked and Bay lined a pitch down the left field line to start the celebration.
Maholm gutted out 8 innings, much needed after yesterday’s 14 inning game and especially in light of today’s 11 inning event. Bay had his third straight multi-hit game and has his average at a season high .290.
Don’t look now, but the Bucs are just two games under .500. They are off tomorrow to travel to Cincinnati.
In 10 starts this year, Ted Lilly has nine decisions. His only no decision came in his only start against the Pirates back on April 7th.
Lilly has pitched very well of late. He has won his last four starts to move his record to 5-4. He has struck out 31 in 25-1/3 IP over that span and has lowered his ERA by nearly a run-and-a-half.
Lilly is 1-0 vs. the Pirates in six career appearances. His ERA against Pittsburgh is 5.26. The Pirates do okay against Lilly. They are 27-99 overall. Ronny Paulino is 6-8 with a dinger.
Contrasting Lilly, Paul Maholm is winless in his last four starts. His ERA for 2008 sits at 5.03. This will be his first appearance against the Cubs in 2008. Despite a rather unpretty ERA of 6.27, Maholm is 4-0 lifetime against the Cubs in six starts. His last turn on the bump against the Wriglies was last September 21st. He didn’t pitch well, but got a no decision as the Pirates lost.
In their careers, Alfonso Soriano and Aramis Ramirez each have two homers off of Maholm. The Cubs collectively are hitting .291 against him.