Pirates 5, Cubs 4

By Chris Rewers on Sunday, April 3, 2011

Hero: Starlin Castro produced three more hits, including a pair of triples, and is hitting .615.

Goat: Castro made an ill-advised throw on Pedro Alvarez's slow roller with one out in the top of the ninth, allowing Neil Walker to score the go-ahead run from second base. As Len Kasper pointed out, it's not every day that you see a two-run infield single. Only the Cubs.

Key Play: With the North Siders trailing 5-4 in the bottom of the ninth, a throwing error by Pittsburgh shortstop Ronny Cedeno put Cubs baserunners at the corners with one out. Marlon Byrd promptly tapped the first offering from Pirates closer Joel Hanrahan to Cedeno and was thrown out by a step on a game-ending 6-4-3 double play.

Comment: It's still early, but this loss sure put a damper on my preseason enthusiasm. These were the same old Cubs, snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

Next: The Cubs send Randy Wells to the mound Monday (CSN, 1:20 p.m.) when they open a three-game series against Arizona at Wrigley Field. Right-hander Barry Enright will get the start for the Diamondbacks, who split their season-opening two-game series at Colorado.

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