Rapid Reaction: Cubs 5, Pirates 1

July, 24, 2012
Padilla By Doug Padilla

PITTSBURGH -- The Chicago Cubs have rebounded nicely after a humbling sweep at St. Louis by defeating the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-1 on Tuesday, their second consecutive victory in the series.

How it happened: The Cubs got more dominating pitching Tuesday, only this time it was from former Pirates lefty Paul Maholm. Pitching at PNC Park for the second time in a different uniform, Maholm gave up just a home run to Garrett Jones in his eight innings of work. The Cubs got their offense from Starlin Castro and Alfonso Soriano home runs. David DeJesus also had a two-run double.

What it means: Soriano’s career domination of the Pirates continued. After a pair of RBI doubles on Monday night, he hit his two-run home run Tuesday. Soriano entered with a .319 career batting average against the Pirates with 25 home runs and 60 RBIs.

Outside the box: Make that five consecutive victories for Maholm going back to a June 29 win over the Houston Astros. Maholm has actually given up one earned run or less in each of his last six outings (he had a one-inning relief outing on July 8). Maholm becomes the first Cubs left-hander to pitch six innings and allow one run or less in five consecutive starts since 1918.

Off beat: The Pirates’ Jones managed to hit a ball into the Allegheny River, only it was a foul ball. Jones’ smash in the seventh inning cleared the right-field stands, bounced off a walkway just missing pedestrians, got through some trees and just missed a docked boat while landing in the water. Incidentally, Anthony Rizzo had a similar shot during batting practice Monday, but his shot bounced off some stairs in the right-center stands before bouncing out of the ballpark and toward the river.

Up next: The Cubs will send right-hander Ryan Dempster (5-4, 2.11 ERA) to the mound in Wednesday’s series finale. The Pirates will counter with right-hander Kevin Correia (7-6, 4.31) in the 11:35 a.m. CST start from PNC Park.

Doug Padilla

Chicago White Sox beat reporter
Doug joined ESPN Chicago in July 2010 and covers the Chicago White Sox for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN Radio 1000.



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Starlin Castro
.292 14 65 58
HRA. Rizzo 32
RBIA. Rizzo 78
RA. Rizzo 89
OPSA. Rizzo .913
WJ. Arrieta 10
ERAT. Wood 5.03
SOJ. Arrieta 167