(Monday, July 30th)
Final Score: Chicago 14, Pittsburgh 4
Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro each homered during a nine-run fifth inning, as the Cubs plastered the Pirates, 14-4, to start a three-game series.
It was also a night of change for the Cubs, ahead of Tuesday's 4 p.m. ET non-waiver trade deadline. The Cubs dealt outfielder Reed Johnson and left- handed pitcher Paul Maholm to the Atlanta Braves. The Cubs were also reportedly working on a deal to send catcher Geovany Soto to the Texas Rangers.
"I've never really been a part of anything like that. It was just like every time I turned around someone else was leaving," Cubs catcher Steve Clevenger said about the trades. "I guess that's what happens this time of year."
Darwin Barney blasted a three-run homer off Erik Bedard in the fourth inning and tied a career-high with four RBI. Castro went 3-for-4 and drove in three in Chicago's third consecutive victory.
Justin Germano (1-1), making his first start in a Cubs uniform, allowed four hits and a pair of runs over five innings. Germano, who was acquired earlier this month from Boston, made his first major league start since October 3, 2010 while he was with Cleveland.
Bedard (5-12) was shelled for seven hits and nine runs -- eight earned -- over 4 1/3 frames to suffer his sixth defeat in his last seven decisions.
Michael McKenry knocked in two runs for the Pirates, losers of two in a row following a four-game winning streak. Starling Marte had three hits and an RBI.
The Pirates also made a deal Monday night, acquiring outfielder Travis Snider from the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for pitcher Brad Lincoln.
Castro doubled in Johnson in the first inning, but Marte's RBI single in the third tied it, and the Pirates went ahead in the fourth when Andrew McCutchen came home on McKenry's fielder's choice.
Barney homered to left with Jeff Baker and Soto aboard in the bottom of the fourth for a 4-2 lead, and the Cubs broke it open in the fifth. The frame started with Pedro Alvarez committing an error, and Castro singled followed by Rizzo's eighth homer of the year, a shot to right-center.
Chris Resop replaced Bedard later in the inning, but was greeted by Barney's bloop RBI single to right. Joe Mather then hit a ball that caromed off the edge of Alvarez's glove at third and into left for a 9-2 difference.
The bounces kept going Chicago's way, as pinch-hitter David DeJesus singled off the first base bag later in the frame, plating two more. Castro then hit a first offering over the wall in center.
"We weren't able to finish pitches in that inning and some of our at-bats as well," said Pirates manager Clint Hurdle, who turned 55 on Monday.
McKenry singled in a run during a two-run top of the sixth before Mather's RBI double capped the scoring in the seventh.
This was Pittsburgh's first trip to Wrigley Field this year, marking the latest calendar date that the Pirates made their first visit of the season to the ballpark in the modern era (since 1900)...McCutchen has reached base safely in 38 straight games against the Cubs...The Pirates had their streak of homering in a team-record 19 consecutive road games broken...The Cubs acquired right-handed pitchers Arodys Vizcaino and Jaye Chapman from the Braves.
07/31 01:47:57 ET