Corey Patterson had five hits and the Cubs scored eight runs in
their second big first inning in two nights, leading them past the
Pirates 12-1 Wednesday night.
Sergio Mitre pitched six shutout innings for his first major
league win and Chicago had another huge night on offense. Patterson
went 5-for-6 with a first-inning double and an RBI, and Moises Alou
and Derrek Lee had three RBI each.
The Cubs have won six of eight -- four straight against the
Pirates -- while averaging 8.2 runs in their last 10 games. They are
averaging 13 hits in their nine victories, including a 9-1 win
Tuesday in which they opened a 4-0 lead in the first.
"Our guys are swinging the bat real well right now and putting
a lot of pressure on them," Michael Barrett said. "We're keeping
our intensity during all our at-bats, even when we're ahead."
Mitre (1-0) struck out seven and limited the Pirates to four
singles. He was 0-1 with a 5.91 ERA in his first five career games.
"With a big lead, I was trying not to lose focus and lose my
concentration. It's always a little bit hard, but everything seemed
to work out," Mitre said. "Hopefully, I get more of these."
Mitre wasn't referring to his first victory, but to the
celebratory shaving cream pie in the face he got from his
"It's definitely fun," he said.
Not for the Pirates, who have been outscored 21-2 in the first
two games of the three-game series and 39-10 over their last four
against Chicago. So far in the series, Pirates starters Ryan
Vogelsong and Josh Fogg have allowed 13 earned runs and 12 hits in
Vogelsong might have been tipping his pitches Tuesday. But the
Cubs apparently didn't need any help in figuring out what Fogg was
Fogg (0-3) didn't retire any of the six batters he faced, though
he didn't get much help from a leaky infield defense. Fogg has a
17.00 ERA in three starts.
"It shows our guys are ready from the opening bell," Cubs
manager Dusty Baker said. "You get the first at-bat, so you might
as well do something with it and they certainly did something with
Fogg has been especially ineffective against the Cubs, allowing
14 earned runs and 12 hits in four innings. He allowed four homers
in a 10-5 loss Thursday at Wrigley Field.
Fogg kept the ball in the playing field this time, and that
might have been his biggest mistake. After walking Todd Walker and
Sammy Sosa around Patterson's double in the first, Alou followed
with a two-run single.
Wilson also threw home late on Walker's grounder later in the
inning, failing to get anybody instead of taking the certain out at
first and helping extend the Cubs' biggest inning in the last two
seasons. They twice scored seven runs in an inning last season.
"Horrible," Fogg said. "I came in trying to get groundballs,
but I walked a couple of guys and got in a terrible situation. I
wanted to stay in there and try to work through it ... but it was
5-0 and I'd thrown 32 pitches and nobody was out."
The only thing missing from the Cubs' offense was a homer; they
hit 30 in their first 14 games, well ahead of the club's
single-season record pace of 212 in 1998.
"It was just a bad night from the start," said Pirates manager
Lloyd McClendon, whose team came into the series off a three-game
sweep of the Mets.
Alou is 18-for-34 in his last eight games. ... Wilson was
supposed to start in right field, but was shifted to first when
Randall Simon (hamstring) was a late scratch. Simon grounded into a
force play as a pinch-hitter in the second. ... Cubs SS Alex
Gonzalez is 9-for-17 in his last four games. ... Patterson's first
career five-hit game raised his average from .255 to .311. His
previous high was four hits, reached four times before this season.
... The forecast was for heavy rain during the game, but there was
nothing more than a steady mist.