Game One Hundred One – Cubs 14, Pirates 4
WP – Justin Germano (1-1) LP – Erik Bedard (5-12) Save – None
Monday night’s game between the Cubs and Pirates took a backseat in the bottom of the fifth inning not too long after Anthony Rizzo launched a three-run homer off Erik Bedard that gave the Cubs a 7-2 lead. Reed Johnson was lifted for pinch-hitter David DeJesus and the speculation began when Johnson started saying good byes to his teammates and coaching staff in the dugout. The Cubs ended up scoring nine runs in the bottom of the fifth and took a 13-2 lead into the sixth.
After Manny Corpas helped clean up Jeff Beliveau’s mess in the top of the sixth, Geovany Soto made his way into the dugout and started hugging his teammates. As it turned out, the Cubs made two different deals on Monday night. Reed Johnson and Paul Maholm were sent to the Braves and Geovany Soto was dealt to the Rangers.
Before the focus turned to the pending trades, the Cubs played a very good game and posted their third straight win.
Darwin Barney (3-for-5 with a home run, a triple, four RBI and two runs scored) had a career night and came within a double of hitting for the cycle. Barney drove in a career-high four runs. Barney launched a three-run homer in the fourth, his fifth of the season, that gave the Cubs a 4-2 lead and Dale Sveum’s team never looked back. Barney has hit all seven of his big league homers at Wrigley Field.
Anthony Rizzo (1-for-4 with a home run, a walk and three RBI) launched his eighth longball of the season in the Cubs’ nine-run fifth inning. Rizzo pulled a 1-0 pitch to deep right center off Erik Bedard.
Starlin Castro (3-for-4 with a home run, a double, a walk, three RBI and two runs scored) tied a career-high with his tenth longball of the season. Castro made two outstanding plays in the field that helped keep the Pirates off the board before the Cubs blew the game open in the fifth.
Reed Johnson (0-for-3 with two runs scored) helped jump start the offense before he was lifted in the fifth. David DeJesus (1-for-2 with two RBI and a run scored) drove in a pair when he pinch-hit for Johnson in the fifth.
Geovany Soto (1-for-2 with a walk and a run scored) did well in his final game in a Cubs’ uniform and Joe Mather (2-for-4 with a double, two RBI and a run scored) also contributed filling in at third against the lefty Erik Bedard.
Justin Germano picked up his first big league win since August 28, 2007. Germano allowed two runs on four hits with two walks and three strikeouts in five innings. Germano threw strikes (65 pitches, 45 for strikes) and kept the ball down.
Jeff Beliveau struggled with his command as his teammates were collecting their equipment and making their way into the clubhouse. With the Cubs up 13-2, Beliveau could not find the strike zone and allowed two runs on three hits with a pair of walks in a third of an inning. Manny Corpas cleaned up Beliveau’s mess and ended up tossing 2 2/3 innings of scoreless ball. Scott Maine retired the Pirates in order in the ninth to end the game.
With Monday’s win, the Cubs improved to 19-10 since June 25 and 43-58 on the season … Justin Germano began his night by striking out Starling Marte swinging on three pitches. Alex Presley tried to bunt his way on but did not get the ball far enough away from the plate. Geovany Soto picked up the ball and threw out Presley at first. Andrew McCutchen fouled out to Soto on a 1-2 pitch for the third out. Germano retired the side in order on nine pitches, seven for strikes.
Reed Johnson tried to check his swing on a 2-2 pitch in the dirt. Johnson went around but the ball got past Michael McKenry and Johnson reached on a wild pitch. Starlin Castro pulled a 1-0 pitch to deep left. The ball hit off the top of the vines and rolled away from the rookie Marte. Johnson scored all the way from first on Castro’s 13th double of the season. Anthony Rizzo had his worst game since his call-up against Erik Bedard last Monday. Rizzo worked the count in his first at bat. Rizzo popped out to Pedro Alvarez (3-1 pitch) near the mound for the first out. Alfonso Soriano popped out to left center and Jeff Baker looked at a 1-2 pitch to end the inning. Bedard threw only 18 pitches in the first, 11 for strikes.
Justin Germano set down the Pirates in order in the second … 22 pitches for Germano after two, 16 for strikes.
The Cubs did nothing against Bedard in the second. Six in a row retired by Bedard after Castro’s double. Bedard needed 33 pitches, 20 for strikes, to get through two innings.
Justin Germano struck out Michael McKenry (2-2 pitch) to start the third. Clint Barmes notched the Pirates first hit, a single to center on a 2-2 pitch. Erik Bedard dropped a bunt toward third. Joe Mather fielded the ball, slipped and threw out Bedard from the seat of his pants for the second out. Barmes advanced to second. Starling Marte lined a 0-1 pitch to left and plated Barmes with the tying run. Alex Presley flied out to right to end the inning. Germano threw 37 pitches, 27 for strikes, through three innings.
Erik Bedard struck out Justin Germano swinging to start the third … the fifth strikeout for Bedard in the first nine batters. Reed Johnson grounded out to third. Starlin Castro worked a two out walk. Anthony Rizzo flied out to center (first pitch) to end the inning … 48 pitches for Bedard after three, 29 for strikes.
The Pirates took the lead in the fourth after Germano walked Andrew McCutchen on four pitches. McCutchen has reached base safely in the last 38 games he’s played against the Cubs. Garrett Jones chopped a 0-1 pitch toward the hole at short. Mather backed up as he fielded the ball and had no play.
Neil Walker stepped in with runners on first and second and not outs. Walker pounded a 1-2 pitch back up the middle. Starlin Castro made an excellent diving stop behind the bag and threw out Walker at first. McCutchen and Jones advanced to second and third on the play but Castro saved a run. Germano then walked Pedro Alvarez to load the bases. Germano threw the groundball he needed to Michael McKenry. Mather fielded the grounder and threw to Barney at second. Barney dropped the ball before he could throw to first. McCutchen scored and the Pirates took a 2-1 lead. With runners on first and third and two down, Barmes popped out to second to end the inning.
Alfonso Soriano hit Bedard’s first pitch of the fourth inning to McCutchen in deep left center. Jeff Baker followed with a single to center (3-2 pitch). Geovany Soto fell behind Bedard 0-2. Soto ended up working a full count then looking at ball four.
Darwin Barney stepped in with runners on first and second and one out. Barney put together a solid at bat that ended with his fifth longball of the season. Barney launched a 2-2 pitch (sixth of the at bat) to the bleachers in deep left center where the big boys hit ’em … and the Cubs took a 4-2 lead. Mather grounded out to short and Germano struck out swinging to end the inning.
Erik Bedard flied out to Reed Johnson in center to begin the fifth. Starling Marte then reached on a bunt single up the third baseline. Clint Hurdle called for a hit and run on a 1-1 pitch to Alex Presley. Presley lifted Germano’s offering into left center. Reed Johnson made an excellent running catch, threw off balance to Castro as Marte retouched second and headed back to first. Castro made an excellent relay to Rizzo just ahead of the sliding Marte to end the inning (8-6-3).
Reed Johnson led off the fifth in what would be his final at bat in a Cubs’ uniform. Johnson ripped Bedard’s first pitch toward a drawn-in Pedro Alvarez. The ball ate up the Pirates’ third baseman and Johnson reached on the error. Castro pounded a single into center and put two on with no outs for Anthony Rizzo.
Anthony Rizzo launched a 1-0 pitch from Bedard into the bleachers in right center … and just like that the Cubs took a 7-2 lead. Alfonso Soriano followed with a single to center. Jeff Baker struck out swinging. Geovany Soto, in his last at bat in a Cubs’ uniform, ripped a single into center. With runners on first and second with one out, Clint Hurdle made the slow walk and went to his pen for Chris Resop.
Darwin Barney blooped a 0-1 pitch into right. Soriano scored, 8-2 Cubs. Soto advanced to third and scored on a single to left off the bat of Joe Mather. Justin Germano bunted Barney and Mather to second and third … and that is when Reed Johnson was lifted.
David DeJesus hit for Johnson and pulled a 1-1 pitch down the first baseline. The ball hit the bag and ricocheted into the outfield. Barney and Mather scored, 11-2 Cubs.
Starlin Castro then launched the first pitch from Resop over the wall in center. Castro’s tenth homer of the season gave the Cubs a 13-2 lead. Rizzo grounded out to end the inning.
Jeff Beliveau made his way to the mound in the sixth and really struggled. Andrew McCutchen reached on an infield single. Garrett Jones then hit a 1-2 pitch to Barney. McCutchen was forced at second for the first out. Neil Walker pulled a 0-1 pitch to the hole at short that Castro fielded and bobbled. Walker was given a hit. A 2-0 pitch to Pedro Alvarez got past Geovany Soto. The wild pitch allowed Jones and Walker to move up ninety feet. Beliveau walked Alvarez to load the bases with one out.
Michael McKenry singled to left center. Jones scored, 13-3 Cubs. Beliveau then walked the free-swinging Clint Barmes to force in Walker with the Pirates’ fourth run. Dale Sveum decided he’d seen enough and once Casey McGehee was announced, Sveum went to his pen for Manny Corpas.
Casey McGehee pulled Corpas’ first pitch to Castro … 6-4-3 inning ending double play.
The Cubs did nothing against Tony Watson in the sixth.
Starling Marte collected his third hit of the game, a single to left to start the seventh off Manny Corpas. Alex Presley pulled a grounder to Barney, who flipped to Castro for the first out. Presley then broke for second and Steve Clevenger threw him out with McCutchen at the plate. McCutchen flied out to left to end the inning.
The Cubs tacked on one more run in the bottom of the seventh after Darwin Barney led off the inning with a triple to right center off Tony Watson. Joe Mather just missed a homer and settled for a double off the wall in left center. Barney scored, 14-4 Cubs. Manny Corpas hit for himself and was called out on strikes. DeJesus flied out to right and Castro struck out swinging.
Manny Corpas retired the Pirates in order in the eighth.
Jared Hughes took over and walked Anthony Rizzo to start the eighth. Tony Campana grounded into a 6-4 fielder’s choice. Jeff Baker grounded into a 5-4 fielder’s choice and advanced to second on a single to left by Steve Clevenger. Darwin Barney stepped in with a chance to hit for the cycle … and was caught looking at a 3-2 pitch to end the inning.
Scott Maine retired the side in order to end the game.
Ryan Dempster is scheduled to face A.J. Burnett on Tuesday night.
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