Cubs Break Out the Tape Measure – Cubs 11 Pirates 6

Game One Hundred Ten – Cubs 11 Pirates 6
WP – Randy Wells (3-4) LP – Kevin Correia (12-9) Save – None

wflag.jpgThe Cubs won their third game in a row behind six home runs from five different players … and not one of the six homers was a cheap shot. The six longballs the Cubs hit Tuesday night traveled an estimated 2,449 feet.

Q’s offense pounded out a season-high 21 hits, the most for a Cubs team since the first game of the 2005 season (23 in Arizona, April 4). The Cubs blasted six home runs on Tuesday night at PNC. Alfonso Soriano (2-for-5, two home runs and two RBI) hit a pair of solo shots, Aramis Ramirez (2-for-4 with a home run, a run scored and four RBI) hit a three-run bomb in the second, Geovany Soto (2-for-5 with a home run and two RBI) knocked a two-run dinger in the third and Marlon Byrd (2-for-4 with a home run and two runs scored) hit a solo homer in the fourth … Soto and Soriano hit back-to-back jacks in the third.

Tyler Colvin had his best day of the season. Colvin tied the game at two with a monster shot in the second. Colvin’s ball traveled an estimated 451-feet and became just the 28th ball in the history of PNC Park to end up in the Allegany River … Daryle Ward hit the only ball to ever end up in the river on a fly against Kip Wells on July 6, 2002. Colvin just missed his second homer of the night in the seventh and ended the night 3-for-5 with a home run, a double and two runs scored.

Starlin Castro (3-for-5 with a run scored, a walk and a RBI) recorded another three hit game and reached base four times in six trips to the plate. Darwin Barney was 3-for-6 with a run scored)

After another rough first inning, Randy Wells settled down and put together a solid start … and all of the run support helped. Wells allowed two more runs in the first inning Tuesday night (Wells has allowed 17 first inning runs on 23 hits in 13 starts) and he ended his night by throwing five scoreless innings and allowing just the two runs on five hits with a walk and seven strikeouts. Wells threw 109 pitches, 73 for strikes.

The Cubs tied the all-time franchise mark for home runs in a single game on the road and came up just one short of tying the all-time mark of seven set back on June 11, 1967 against the Mets at Wrigley and tied in 1970 and 1977, both times against the Padres at Wrigley.

Tuesday was the sixth time in Cubs’ history they hit six longballs in a game on the road and the first since August 20, 2004 in Houston (2002 at Coors Field, 1989 at Busch Stadium, 1955 at Sportsman’s Park, 1936 at Baker Bowl in Philadelphia).

With Tuesday’s victory, the Cubs improved to 45-65 on the season … 20 games below .500.

Starlin Castro led off the game with a single to center. Castro stole his 12th bag of the year on a 0-1 offering to Barney. Darwin Barney ended up hitting a single into left. Castro held at third with no outs.

Aramis Ramirez ended a 0-for-20 drought with a single to left on the first pitch. Castro scored … 1-0.

With runners on first and second with no outs, Carlos Pena hit a deep drive to center that backed Andrew McCutchen all the way to the wall. Barney tagged and advanced to third. Marlon Byrd tapped back to Correia. Barney broke on contact and was caught in a run down. Barney was eventually tagged out (1-2-5-1-2-3) but both runners advanced while Barney was running up and down the third baseline.

Geovany Soto grounded out to the hole at short to end the first … and it was another disappointing start for the Chicago Cubs.

Randy Wells was horrible again in the first inning … and labored through a 27-pitch inning. Andrew McCutchen led off the inning with a single to left (2-2 pitch). Garrett Jones looked at two straight out of the zone before a bizarre play by Geovany Soto.

Andrew McCutchen bluffed a move to second … but Soto threw the ball to second. No one was covering, the ball ended up in center and McCutchen trotted to second.

Wells then served one on a platter to Garrett Jones. Jones launched his 11th homer of the season, third at PNC, well over the wall in right center. The Pirates took the lead on the 16th and 17th runs allowed in 13 first innings by Randy Wells this season.

To Wells’ credit he settled down and retired the next three to end the inning … Neil Walker struck out, Derrek Lee grounded out to short (first pitch) and Ryan Ludwick was caught looking to end the inning.

After Alfonso Soriano struck out swinging to start the top of the second, a 2-1 pitch to Tyler Colvin ended up in the Allegheny River. Colvin hit his first homer at the big league level since April 12 (in Houston) and one of the longest balls hit by the Cubs this season. The ball left the park and one-hopped it’s way into the river … only the 28th ball in the history of PNC Park to end up in the river. Former Cub, Daryle Ward hit the only ball that ended up in the river on a fly … a grand slam off Kip Wells on July 6, 2002 while with the Houston Astros.

Randy Wells followed Colvin’s monster shot with a single to center. Starlin Castro then ripped a 1-1 pitch down the right field line. Wells stopped at second on what should have been a double for Castro. With one out and runners on first and second, Barney hit a grounder to second. Walker threw to second to force Castro but Barney hustled down the line and beat Cedeno’s throw … which was a big turning point in the game.

Instead of inning over and game tied at two, Aramis Ramirez got a chance to hit with runners on base.

Aramis Ramirez launched Correia’s first pitch over the wall in center. Ramirez’s 20th homer of the season (10th on the first pitch) gave the Cubs a 5-2 lead. Carlos Pena struck out swinging to end the inning.

Randy Wells gave up a lead off double to Pedro Alvarez in the bottom of the second. Ronny Cedeno lined out to first and Michael McKenry struck out swinging. Wells jammed Correia on a 0-1 pitch and he fouled out to Pena to end the inning.

The Cubs came out swinging again in the third and knocked Kevin Correia out of the game … before he could record an out.

Marlon Byrd reached on an infield single to third to start the inning. Geovany Soto mashed a 2-2 pitch over the wall in center. The Cubs’ third homer of the game and Soto’s 10th of the season gave the Cubs a 7-2 lead. Byrd scored the 500th run of his career as he came around to score on Soto’s longball.

Alfonso Soriano followed with his 18th longball of the season, a blast to the second deck above the left field wall … the Back-to-Back Jacks gave the Cubs an 8-2 lead and chased Kevin Correia from the game.

Tony Watson replaced Correia with no outs in the third and struck out Tyler Colvin. Randy Wells flied out to right for the second out.

Starlin Castro stepped to the plate for the third time in the game … and walked. Darwin Barney singled to left. Aramis Ramirez ended the inning by fouling out to Derrek Lee.

Randy Wells worked around a two-out infield single to Neil Walker (extended his hitting streak to 20 games against the Cubs) in the third without allowing a run.

At the end of three … 8-2 Cubs.

After Carlos Pena started the fourth by flying out to center, Marlon Byrd hit the Cubs’ fifth dinger of the night … his sixth of the season. Geovany Soto popped out to first for the second out.

Alfonso Soriano hit another bomb with two outs in the fourth. Tuesday was the second two-homer game of the season for Soriano and the sixth longball of the night for the Cubs gave them a 10-2 lead.

Randy Wells gave up another two-out hit in the bottom of the fourth. Ronny Cedeno lined a single into right but Wells retired McKenry on a flyout to deep left center to end the inning.

Jason Grilli kept the Cubs off the board for the first time in the fifth (leadoff single by Randy Wells) … and Wells retired the Pirates in order for the first time in the home half.

After five complete, the Cubs had a 10-2 lead and Randy Wells had thrown 82 pitches, 56 for strikes.

The Cubs did nothing against Chris Resop in the sixth.

Randy Wells retired six in a row before issuing a two-out walk to Ryan Ludwick in the sixth. Pedro Alvarez struck out swinging on the eighth pitch of the at bat to end the sixth.

Wells tossed 108 pitches in six innings, 72 for strikes.

Joe Beimel took over in the seventh and struck out Alfonso Soriano swinging. Tyler Colvin ripped a 0-1 pitch from the lefty off the top of the wall in right center … and just missed a home run. Colvin settled for his fifth double of the season. Reed Johnson hit for Randy Wells and flied out to center. Colvin tagged and advanced to third. Starlin Castro ripped his third hit of the game (sixth of the series) into center. Colvin scored … 11-2 Cubs.

Darwin Barney recorded his third hit of the game, a single to left center. Castro held at second. With two outs and the Cubs up by nine in the seventh, Jeff Baker hit for Aramis Ramirez and flied out to right to end the inning.

Ramon Ortiz took over in the bottom of the seventh and retired three of the four batters he faced (two-out walk to Xavier Paul).

Jose Veras retired Carlos Pena on a groundout to short to start the eighth. Tony Campana hit for Marlon Byrd and reached on a bunt single. Geovany Soto can thank Campana for his second hit of the night. Soto hit a grounder to short and Campana beat Cedeno’s throw to second. Soriano hit into a 5-4-3 double play to end the inning.

The Pirates played longball against Ramon Ortiz in the eighth. Granted it was mop up time but Tuesday was just further proof that Ortiz and John Grabow should be released.

Garrett Jones led off the eighth with his second homer of the night. After Neil Walker singled, Steve Pearce flied out to right. Brandon Wood hit for Jose Veras and launched his sixth homer of the season … 11-5 Cubs. Ortiz retired Alvarez (groundout to first) and Cedeno (fly out to right) to end the inning.

Tyler Colvin led off the ninth with his third hit of the game … a single to left off Joel Hanrahan. Blake DeWitt hit for Ortiz and singled to right. Castro struck out swinging, Barney flied out to right and Jeff Baker grounded out to third.

John Grabow took the mound in the ninth … and gave up a leadoff double to Michael McKenry. Paul grounded out to short but Matt Diaz singled to left. With runners on first and third with one out, Garrett Jones hit a sac fly to center. McKenry tagged and scored the Pirates’ sixth run. Eric Fryer struck out swinging to end the inning … and the game.

Three in a row for the second time this season …

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

Matt Garza will face Charlie Morton in game three on Wednesday night.

Quote of the Day

"Build up your weaknesses until they become your strong points." – Knute Rockne