Pirates 2, Cubs 1

By Chris Rewers on Monday, May 31, 2010

Hero: Andrew Cashner, the Cubs' first-round pick in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft, made a successful major league debut in the eighth inning. The 23-year-old right-hander, who entered with two outs, threw just one pitch and retired Ronny Cedeno on a popout to shortstop Starlin Castro.

Goat: Cleanup hitter Aramis Ramirez (now hitting .162) went 0-for-4 and struck out twice. Ramirez struck out with two on and two out against Pittsburgh starter Ross Ohlendorf to halt a scoring threat in the fifth. He grounded out to second baseman Neil Walker with Marlon Byrd on second and one out in the eighth.

Key Plays: In a 1-1 game, with Byrd on third and two outs in the top of the eighth, Mike Fontenot hit a slow roller. Pittsburgh third baseman Andy LaRoche made a barehand pickup and threw out Fontenot by a half-step to prevent the Cubs from tallying the go-ahead run. Bobby Crosby's two-out RBI single to center off Sean Marshall in the bottom of the eighth enabled the Pirates to break the tie.

Comment: The Cubs have won three of their last seven with all three victories coming by shutout. They have allowed an average of 6.5 runs in the four losses.

Next: The Cubs (24-28) on Tuesday (CSN+, 6:05 p.m.) will try for just their second win in eight games against the Pirates (21-31) this season when they send Ted Lilly (1-4, 3.63 ERA) against Pittsburgh right-hander Jeff Karstens (1-1, 4.78).

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