Rich Harden repeatedly worked out of trouble to win for the first time in more than six weeks, Ryan Theriot homered and the Chicago Cubs maintained their mastery of the Pittsburgh Pirates by winning 3-1 on Monday night.
The Cubs were 1-6 on a 10-game trip that included manager Lou Piniella's run-in with Milton Bradley and 14-24 overall on the road before winning their eighth in their last 10 in Pittsburgh. They have won 20 of their last 25 games there.
The Pirates, who only wish they had the kind of success in PNC Park the Cubs do, had numerous chances to get to Harden (5-4), who was 0-3 with a 5.64 ERA in four starts since last winning May 12. They never did.
Pittsburgh stranded a combined five runners during the fifth and sixth innings, then had No. 3 hitter Freddy Sanchez ground into a double play with two on and one out in the seventh.
Sanchez, hitless in four at-bats, also grounded out to Harden with the bases loaded and a run in following Andy LaRoche's double in the fifth. An inning later, Harden struck out Jason Jaramillo and Jack Wilson following one-out singles by Brandon Moss and Andy LaRoche.
Harden, facing Pittsburgh for the first time, gave up nine hits _ eight singles_ and walked a batter, but struck out nine. The Pirates were 1 for 8 with runners in scoring position against the right-hander, who was 0-2 in three starts after a strained back put him on the disabled list.
Kevin Gregg pitched the ninth for his 13th save in 16 opportunities. Carlos Marmol retired all three batters he faced in the eighth.
The Cubs are 18-17 against the NL Central, while the Pirates _ falling 2 1/2 games behind fourth-place Chicago in a crowded division race _ are 10-22.
Pirates starter Zach Duke (8-6) couldn't extend his five-game home winning streak, giving up seven hits and three runs in seven innings. Maybe it's not a surprise the Pirates didn't score much for Duke, since they have scored only five runs with the left-hander on the mound during his six losses.
The Cubs, 6-0 losers to the White Sox on Sunday, took a 1-0 lead on Andres Blanco's two-out RBI single in the second. Theriot hit his seventh homer one batter into the third, and Bradley's run-scoring double made it 3-0 in the fourth.
Bradley, who will sit down the next two days to work with hitting coach Von Joshua on improving his .195 average as a left-handed hitter, went 2 for 4 to bump his average to .238. He was 1 for 16 with nine strikeouts in his previous six games.
NOTES: The Cubs are 3-1 against Pittsburgh this season. ... Cubs 3B Aramis Ramirez (dislocated shoulder) is taking batting practice before going on a rehabilitation assignment Thursday. Out since May 9, Ramirez could return next week. RHP Angel Guzman (triceps) might start a rehab assignment the same day. ... The Pirates are 13-13 this month. They must win Tuesday for their first winning June since 1996 (15-12). ... The Cubs don't see many crowds like this, especially in late June: 15,400. ... Pirates C Ryan Doumit (broken wrist) starts a rehabilitation assignment at Bradenton on Tuesday.