Ronny Cedeno’s single gave Pittsburgh an early lead in the 2nd, and Pedro Alvarez did the same in the 3rd, but the Cubs came back to tie it on a Carlos Pena near-grand slam double in the 4th. Lyle Overbay gave the Pirates the lead with a single in the 5th. But after a Starlin Castro triple, Darwin Barney knocked him in with a sacrifice fly to make it 3-3 in the bottom of the inning. To lead off the 6th inning, Alfonso Soriano hit a home run to give the Cubs a 4-3 lead, with the first home run of the Cubs season. But in the 9th, Carlos Marmol’s wildness gave the Pirates an opportunity to tie or take the lead. In the 9th, a ground ball to Starlin Castro let the Pirates tie it, but Castro’s aggression compelled him to attempt to get the runner out at 1st, despite the lack of any significant chance to make the out and allowed the aware Neil Walker to round 3rd and score and give the Pirates a 5-4 lead. Castro sought redemption in the bottom of the inning when he nailed a single to left center field, and Darwin Barney reached on a misplay by Ronny Cedeno before Marlon Byrd grounded into a double play, as the Cubs regressed to 1-2 and 3rd place in the National League Central Division.
Pittsburgh had 16 hits, all singles, in their 5-4 victory. On the pitching side, Matt Garza fanned a career-high 12 batters while Tyler Colvin made a stellar defensive play to make a catch and fire home to Geovany Soto who tagged out the base-runner for a double play. Beyond the potentially victory-costing throw to first base, Castro was stellar with back-to-back triples, a single, and a walk to raise his batting average to .615 on the season.
Triple-C Cubs Stars of the Game:
#3) Matt Garza
#2) Tyler Colvin’s defense
#1) Starlin Castro’s offense
The Cubs start their series against the Arizona Diamondbacks tomorrow at 1:20 on Comcast SportsNet at Wrigley Field