Game 26: Bucs Triumphant in HR Battle

The scoring came fast and furioius. When the dust settled, each team hit two homers. The Cubs hit two solo homers and the Pirates had a solo jack and a two run blast. Bucs win.

Andy LaRoche kick started the game with a solo homer in the first off of Ryan Dempster. Paul Maholm danced into and out of trouble, stranding five Cub runners in the first two innings. After a 1-2-3 third inning, the Cubs struck back as Alfonso Soriano curved a line drive inside the left field foul pole. The tie lasted until the sixth. Geovany Soto blasted a two out homer. The next two Cubs also reached, but Maholm got Jeff Baker to line out to end the threat.

Dempster surrendered the lead the next inning. Garrett Jones singled with two outs and Ryan Church followed with the game deciding homer. The Pirates nearly added a run in the next frame but Ronny Cedeno was gunned down at home.

Octavio Dotel pitched a scoreless 9th for the save. Maholm was good enough. He put eleven men on base in six innings – three walks and eight hits. But he gave up just two runs. He whiffed just one. Dempster lasted seven and whiffed seven. He gave up 8 hits and three runs.

The Good
LaRoche, Church and Cedeno each had two hits.

The Bad
Nothing much.

The Rest
Andrew McCutchen sat out with an ankle injury he sustained in Sunday’s loss at LA.

Throughout the WGN broadcast of the game you could hear some deranged Pirate fan singing 1980s tunes in the background. The songs included ‘Don’t Stop Believing’ by Journey and ‘Eye of the Tiger’ by Survivor.

Soriano has homered in four straight games. That is his longest consecutive game homer streak.

Maholm was 4-1 against the Cubs entering the game despite an ERA that was above 7.00.

Dempster came in with a 6-7 mark and an ERA near 5.50 against the Buccos. He recorded his fourth career two hit game.

This was Cedeno’s first two hit game since 4/16.

The Pirates walked just once, marking the fourth time all year that they only walked one time.

Analysis
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