Game One Hundred Thirty-Seven – Cubs 9 Pirates 4
WP – Ryan Dempster (9-8) LP – Zach Duke (10-14) Save – None
Lou Piniella’s crew came out swinging and put the game away in the first inning. The Cubs sent 11 batters to the plate in the opening frame against Zach Duke and scored seven runs on eight hits. The first eight batters all reached on base hits and the eight consecutive hits to start the game tied a Major League record. The Yankees were the last team to accomplish the feat on September 25, 1990.
The Cubs tacked on two more runs after the seven-run output to start the game. The offense pounded out 14 hits and Ryan Dempster even drove in a run with a single in the seventh.
Six of the first seven runs were scored on three hits. Aramis Ramirez drove in the first two runs with a bases loaded single. Geovany Soto hit a two-run double off the wall in right center, Soto just missed a grand slam … and Kosuke Fukudome, in a rare start against a southpaw, knocked a two-run double to left. Ryan Theriot tacked on the final run of the inning with a ground out to short.
Milton Bradley left the game after the first inning with general tightness in his legs. Bradley is expected to miss Wednesday’s finale in Pittsburgh. Micah Hoffpauir replaced Bradley and in his first at bat hit his ninth homer of the year, a solo shot off Zach Duke in the fourth inning.
Ryan Dempster did not have his best stuff on Tuesday night. After he was staked to a seven-run lead before he threw his first pitch, he gave up runs in the second and third inning before settling down. At one point Dempster retired ten in a row but ran out of gas in the seventh.
Ryan Dempster recorded only one out in the seventh and walked in a run before turning the game over to Tom Gorzelanny. Garrett Jones cut the Cubs lead to 9-4 with a sacrifice fly to center before Angel Guzman induced a ground out to short off the bat of Lastings Milledge to end the inning.
Ryan Dempster allowed four runs on eight hits with two walks and four strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings.
With the win on Tuesday night the Cubs won their first road series since taking two of three from the Reds in Cincinnati in early August (August 3 – August 5) … Tuesday night in the Steel City was a case of too little too late. While the first inning was against the Pirates, they managed eight consecutive hits against Zach Duke … who isn’t exactly Carlos Torres or any of the other ‘unknown pitchers‘ that have shut the Cubs down this season.
Ryan Theriot (2-for-5 with a run scored and a RBI) led off the game with an infield single to the hole at short. Milton Bradley followed and pushed a bunt past Zach Duke to the first base side of the mound. Derrek Lee (2-for-5 with a run scored) loaded the bases with a soft single over Ramon Vazquez’s head into right center.
Aramis Ramirez (1-for-5 with a run scored and two RBI) singled to left on a 2-2 pitch. Theriot and Bradley scored … 2-0 Cubs. Rounding third is where Bradley seemed to hurt his hamstring.
Jeff Baker (3-for-4 with a walk and a run scored) single to right and re-loaded the bases … still with no outs. Geovany Soto (1-for-3 with a double, two runs scored, two RBI and two walks) ripped a 2-0 pitch off the wall in right center. Soto hit the ball high off the 21′ tall wall and just missed a grand slam. Lee and Ramirez scored, 4-0 Cubs.
Kosuke Fukudome (1-for-4 with a double, a run scored, a walk and two RBI) lined a 0-1 pitch from Zach Duke down the left field line. Baker and Soto scored, 6-0 Cubs … RBIs number 49 and 50 on the year for Kosuke Fukudome.
Bobby Scales then reached on an infield single … the eighth consecutive hit.
With runners on first and third with no outs, Ryan Dempster sacrificed Scales to second. Ryan Theriot grounded out to short, Kosuke scored on Theriot’s 50th RBI of the season … 7-0 Cubs. Milton Bradley filed out to left to end the inning.
The Pirates started chipping away at the lead in the second. Steven Pearce led off with a double to right. Andy LaRoche singled to center, Pearce scored and it was 7-1 Cubs. Ronny Cedeno then reached on an infield single. Ryan Dempster struck out Jason Jaramillo for the first out.
Zach Duke sacrificed the runners to second and third, his 14th sac bunt of the season. The Pirates had a chance to make the game very interesting but Andrew McCutchen was called out on a check swing to end the inning.
Garret Jones hit his 19th homer of the year in the third, a solo shot bomb over the wall in right. Dempster settled down following the Jones longball and retired the next 10 batters he faced.
Micah Hoffpauir got one of the runs back in the fourth. Hoffpauir launched the first ball he saw from Zach Duke deep to right.
The Cubs made it a 9-2 game in the seventh. Geovany Soto and Kosuke Fukudome walked to start the inning. Bobby Scales flied out to deep left center, both runners tagged and advanced on the productive out. With the infield in, Dempster singled to left and plated Soto with the Cubs’ ninth run. Dempster’s fifth RBI of the year gave the Cubs a little more breathing room.
Ryan Theriot hit a sinking liner to first, Pearce caught the ball and stepped on the bag to complete the inning ending double play.
Neil Walker started the Pirates’ two-run seventh inning with a pinch-hit single to left. Jason Jaramillo followed with another single to left. Luis Cruz popped out to center for the first out but Andrew McCutchen singled to left to load the bases with one out.
Ryan Dempster issued his second walk of the game to Ramon Vazquez … that forced in Walker with the Pirates’ third run. Lou Piniella made the slow walk and brought in Tom Gorzelanny.
The former Pirate retired Garrett Jones on a sacrifice fly to center. Jaramillo scored, 9-4 Cubs. Angel Guzman replaced Gorzelanny and retired Lastings Milledge on a ground out to short.
Guzman took the mound to start the eighth and struggled with his command. Up by five runs he walked Steven Pearce to start the inning. Andy LaRoche popped out to third for the first out.
Delwyn Young pinch hit for Phil Dumatrait and looked at two straight out of the strike zone before Piniella decided he had seen enough. With a 2-0 count on Young, Piniella made the slow walk and brought in John Grabow to face Young. Guzman was visibly upset by the decision of his manager to pull him in the middle of the at bat … Grabow ended up walking Young.
Jason Jaramillo then hit a chopper toward third. Aramis Ramirez dove, got a glove on the ball and deflected it toward Ryan Theriot. Theriot threw out Jaramillo at first for the second out. Luis Cruz grounded out to short to end the inning.
Donald Veal pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for the Pirates and Esmailin Caridad faced the minimum in the ninth to end the game.
Carlos Zambrano will face Kevin Hart in the last game of the year in Pittsburgh on Wednesday morning.