- Doug Padilla, Chicago White Sox beat reporter
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HOW IT HAPPENED: After a 3-hour, 37-minute rain delay at the outset, the Pirates jumped on the board with three third-inning runs and held on for the victory. The Cubs managed just two hits, while Pirates starter Kevin Correia pitched seven scoreless innings. The final out was recorded at 1:27 a.m.
WHAT IT MEANS: When he was in the strike zone, Cubs starter Travis Wood was nasty, but when he wasn’t it was trouble. The Cubs’ left-hander had just one unintentional walk, but hit two batters. That wild side could have kept Pirates hitters off balance as Wood ended up striking out a career-best nine. His previous high of eight was set three times.
OUTSIDE THE BOX: The crowd had thinned out so much by first pitch that fans in the upper deck were allowed to go to the lower level to find better seats. Only a handful stuck around in the upper reaches, mostly to chase down foul balls. The paid attendance was announced at 33,017, but there was an estimated 750 left in the seats at the final out. The Bears’ Israel Idonije was scheduled to sing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” but ultimately left before the middle of the seventh inning at 12:45 a.m.
OFF BEAT: The 10:42 p.m. CST first pitch was the latest start for a Cubs game at Wrigley Field. The previous late start was July 26, 2005, when the game began at 9:48 p.m. That game is better known as the day Greg Maddux struck out the 3,000th batter of his career.
UP NEXT: The Cubs will send right-hander Justin Germano (2-7, 6.24 ERA) to the mound Tuesday against Cincinnati in the opener of a three-game series. The Reds will counter with right-hander Homer Bailey (11-9, 3.93) in the 7:05 p.m. start from Wrigley Field.
After a rain delay of nearly four hours at the outset, the sleepy Cubs managed two hits.