Chicago, IL – Alfonso Soriano drove in four runs with a pair of homers and the Chicago Cubs shut down the Pittsburgh Pirates to take a 4-1 decision at Wrigley Field.
Soriano's 32nd career game with multiple home runs backed a solid start from Edwin Jackson and a lights-out bullpen effort anchored by Kevin Gregg.
Jackson (5-10) allowed just one run on four hits and two walks over 5 2/3 innings for the Cubs, who snapped a two-game skid and evened this three-game series heading into Sunday's rubber match.
Charlie Morton (1-2) served up both of Soriano's homers and was charged with four runs on seven hits and three walks over six frames to take the loss, the third in the last five games for the NL Central-leading Pirates.
"It was a little bit of a mixed bag," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said of his starter. "He gets two pitches back, I don't know where we are."
Pedro Alvarez, who was selected to the All-Star Game for the first time in his career Saturday, slugged his 22nd home run of the season in the fourth inning to break a scoreless tie and give the Pirates a short-lived 1-0 lead.
Anthony Rizzo just missed a home run leading off the bottom half, but instead doubled high off the wall in left field. Rizzo was still able to trot home when Soriano followed with one that flew a little further, as his fly to deep center cleared the wall and landed in the first row.
Soriano came up an inning later with a runner on and went deep again, this time turning on a fastball and nearly sending the ball onto Waveland Avenue for his 12th home run of the year.
"It was the Sori show today," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said.
James Russell relieved Jackson with two on and two outs in the sixth and fanned Alvarez to keep it a 4-1 game, and after Matt Guerrier set down the side in both the seventh and eighth innings, Gregg worked around a leadoff single to nail down his 15th save of the year.
Soriano has 384 career home runs, tying him with Harold Baines for 59th on MLB's all-time list ... Starter Travis Wood was the only Cubs player named to the All-Star Game, while outfielder Andrew McCutchen, and pitchers Jeff Locke and Jason Grilli will join Alvarez in New York for the Midsummer Classic ... McCutchen and Starling Marte each had two of Pittsburgh's five hits ... Pirates second baseman Neil Walker was removed from the game with discomfort in his right side ... Pittsburgh was trying to win eight straight on the road for the first time since Sept. 6-21, 1987 ... The Pirates still lead the season series, 7-4 ... Chicago Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville threw out the ceremonial first pitch with the Stanley Cup by his side.