Pirates 2, Cubs 1

By Chris Rewers on Monday, June 28, 2010

Hero: Brian Schlitter faced just two batters - Paul Maholm and Jose Tabata - in his major league debut, in the seventh inning, and struck them both out.

Goat: Carlos Marmol entered a tie game in the ninth with two aboard and one out, and promptly surrendered an RBI double to Tabata.

Key Play: With the game even at 1 in the seventh, Starlin Castro doubled and with one out, advanced to third on a Jeff Baker single. But Ryan Theriot swung at the first pitch and rolled into an an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play.

"GEE WHIZ!!!" Ron Santo exclaimed.

Comments: The lowly Pirates (26-50) ended a 17-game road losing streak, improved to 8-2 against the Cubs (33-43) this season, and handed the North Siders their 10th straight series-opening loss. The Cubs have not won a series opener since they topped the Dodgers 3-0 at Wrigley Field on May 25.

Everybody hits the Pirates except the Cubs. Pittsburgh hurlers have a 5.26 ERA (Arizona is the only NL team that's worse) and have allowed 746 hits in 662 2/3 innings. But against the North Siders, they have a 2.63 ERA and have surrendered just 75 hits in 89 innings.

Maholm (5-6), who worked eight solid innings Monday, is 3-0 with an ERA of 2.25 against the Cubs this season.

Next: Ted Lilly (2-6, 3.28 ERA) will start for the Cubs on Tuesday (WGN, 7:05 p.m.) against Pittsburgh right-hander Jeff Karstens (2-2, 4.60).

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