Pittsburgh lost a close one – something a bit unusual for the year. What wasn’t surprising is that an error helped the Cubs get back in it late.
Ross Ohlendorf was crusing along pretty well. He had allowed just one run in six innings. His spot came up in the top of the seventh with two on and one out. Instead of calling for a pinch hitter, John Russell let his starter hit. It almost worked. Ohlendorf, coming into the game with an Iwamura like 4-67 career hitting mark, almost lofted a liner over the head of pulled in Kosuke Fukudome. But he made a leaping grab with his body being pulled away from the plate to preserve the 3-1 lead.
Ohlendorf walked the first hitter he faced (Mike Fontenot) in the home half of the seventh and was promptly pulled for Evan Meek. He got two quick outs before surrendering a single to Fukudome. Fontenot moved to third on the single and scored on a a wild pitch. Starlin Castro’s grounder up the middle was misplayed by Ronny Cedeno, keeping the inning alive. Derrek Lee made the Bucs pay with a single that tied the game.
Former Bucco Xavier Nady provided the game winning hit in the following inning. Alfonso Soriano singled and stole second on a D.J. Carrasco pitch that eluded Ryan Doumit, allowing him to move to third. Nady delivered a pinch hit single with two outs to provide the winning tally.
Lastings Milledge provided a two run single as part of a three run second. That was all the Pirates got.
Ted Lilly allowed three runs in seven innings. He gave way to winning pitcher Sean Marshall. Carlos Marmol struck out two in the 9th to seal the win. Ohlendorf gave up two earned runs in six plus. He allowed four hits and three walks.
Almost sweeping the Cubs.
Ohlendorf was sharp.
Ugh – wild pitches, an error. The Cubs made the Pirates pay for their mistakes.
Andrew McCutchen was picked off first in the third inning.
Lilly came into the game with 4-3 mark and a 4.44 ERA against the Pirates. Ohlendorf was a winner in his only previous start against the Wriglies.
Milledge hit first as Aki Iwamura was benched due to his prolonged slump. Bobby Crosby started at second and had two hits.
Andy LaRoche is in the middle of a 1-18 stretch. He has gone 10 games without an RBI.