Pirates hold on for 4-3 victory over Cubs
CHICAGO (AP) — Jeff Clement homered in the ninth inning and Octavio Dotel escaped a jam in the bottom half to help the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Chicago Cubs 4-3 on Saturday.
Dotel walked Starlin Castro with one out and surrendered an RBI triple to Kosuke Fukudome. With Fukudome on third and the infield in, Dotel struck out Ryan Theriot and Marlon Byrd for his seventh save in nine opportunities.
Ryan Church hit a two-run double and Andrew McCutchen added an RBI single for Pittsburgh, which has won the first two games of the series after being swept by Cincinnati at home. Clement hit his fourth homer off closer Carlos Marmol.
McCutchen was 2 for 3 with a walk after going 5 for 5 with a homer in Friday's 10-6 victory. He is 11 for 14 against the Cubs this season.
The Cubs have lost seven straight against the Pirates dating to last season, and nine of their last 11 overall. Ryan Dempster (2-4) pitched seven solid innings but lost his fourth consecutive start, allowing three runs and four hits with five walks.
Dempster struggled to find the strike zone in the first inning, issuing consecutive walks to Aki Iwamura and Andy LaRoche. McCutchen blooped a single to right to score Iwamura with his sixth consecutive hit. One out later, Church doubled down the right-field line to make it 3-0.
In its previous series against the Reds, the Pirates scored only one run while losing three straight.
Paul Maholm (3-3) allowed two runs and eight hits in six innings for the Pirates. He struck out four and walked none.
Aramis Ramirez, who entered hitting .168, hit a two-out, two-run double in the third for the Cubs. Ramirez was waved home by third base coach Mike Quade when Geovany Soto followed with a single to left, but he was easily thrown out by Church.
NOTES: Iwamura is hitless in his last 26 at-bats after going 0 for 2 with two walks.