Pirates 14, Cubs 7

By Chris Rewers on Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Hero: Koyie Hill went 3-for-4 with a two-run homer and a double. It was the 31-year-old switch-hitting catcher's sixth career home run and first since May 29, 2009.

Goat: Ryan Dempster (12-9), who was attempting for his 100th career win, suffered his first loss since July 30. The 33-year-old right-hander was pounded for seven runs (all earned) on seven hits in just three innings while striking out four and walking three. It was Dempster's shortest outing since the host White Sox rocked him for eight runs in 2 1/3 innings on June 27, 2008.

Key Play: The game was scoreless with one out in the top of the first, with Pittsburgh runners on the corners, when Garrett Jones grounded a double-play ball back to the mound. Dempster bobbled the ball while transferring it from his glove and was only able to nab Jones at first. Jose Tabata scored the game's first run and the Pirates tacked on three more in the inning.

Comments: Starlin Castro, who now has enough at-bats to qualify for the National League batting title, had a pair of singles in four at-bats to raise his average to .315. Castro ranks fifth in the NL and trails Joey Votto (.327), Carlos Gonzalez (.326), Martin Prado (.317), and Albert Pujols (.316). The 20-year-old shortstop also booted a Chris Snyder grounder in the seventh inning for his 21st error of the season.

Pittsburgh starter Jeff Karstens (3-10) allowed two runs (both earned) on four hits over six innings while striking out six and walking none. With the wind blowing out to center, Karstens was able to keep the ball down. He recorded seven groundball outs and just two flyball outs. The 27-year-old right-hander had lost his previous eight decisions and was winless in his previous 11 starts.

Next: Former Pirate Tom Gorzelanny (7-8, 3.98 ERA) will try to bounce back from a subpar month when he starts Wednesday (WGN, 1:20 p.m.) against Pittsburgh at Wrigley Field. Gorzelanny, who was 1-3 with a 5.46 ERA in five August starts, will oppose Pirates 25-year-old right-hander James McDonald (2-4, 5.65). Pittsburgh acquired McDonald from the Dodgers in a July 31 trade that sent Octavio Dotel to Los Angeles.

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