Charlie Morton was wild and was unable to get out of the fifth inning. Randy Wells continued with his resurgence as the Cubs took the final game of the three game set 6-3.
Alex Presley got it started in the first inning off Wells. He singled and stole second. He moved to third on a fly out from Andrew McCutchen. Derrek Lee delivered as he has since being acquired. He stroked a two out single to give the Pirates a 1-0 lead.
As a sign of things to come, Morton left the bases loaded in the first. In the second he walked two men and stranded them both. The Pirates had there own offensive chances. They loaded the bases with no one gone in the second (Garrett Jones doubled, Ronny Cedeno singled and Michael McKenry walked), but failed to score (Morton whiffed, Presley popped out and Harrison flied out).
In the third, Tony Campana singled to lead off the inning. He stole second and Aramis Ramirez walked. Carlos Pena’s grounder turned into a run as Cedeno’s throwing error allowed Campana to come in, making it one each. The Cubs went small ball to take the lead in the fourth. Koyie Hill singled. He was bunted to second by Wells and singled in with two gone by Starlin Castro.
Pittsburgh wasted another chance in the fifth. Lee flied out to end the inning with Presley on third and McCutchen on second. The Cubs pushed two more across in the fifth. Ramirez singled and Pena walked to start the inning. Cedeno’s second error of the game on a ball from rookie Bryan LaHair left the bases loaded with no one out. Marlon Byrd’s sac fly scored one and send Morton to the shower. Tony Watson relieved. Hill’s groundout scored Pena with the fourth Chicago run of the game.
Watson allowed a two out single to LaHair in the sixth that scored Ramirez, who had walked and swiped second.
Pittsburgh added some excitement in the eighth against Jeff Samardzija (who was clearly upset by Notre Dame’s awful opening day loss yesterday to South Florida. Oh wait, that was me who was clearly upset. Come on, Irish! You have to be better than that). Lee singled and Neil Walker hit a homer to make it 5-3.
But Chicago delivered another run in the eighth against Jose Veras. Pena, who had walked with two outs, scored on a single from Marlon Byrd to make it 6-3. Sean Marshall gave up a pinch hit single to Ryan Doumit in the ninth. But the Pirates didn’t produce any runs.
Morton gave up four of the six Wrigley runs in 4-1/3 innings. Three were earned. He gave up seven hits and walked five. He struck out. Wells picked up the win. He moved seven hits into six innings and allowed just one run. He walked a pair and whiffed a pair. Marshall got his fourth save on the year.
The offense collected double figures in hits.
Lee had three singles. Presley had two singles and swiped a bag.
Morton was clearly not sharp.
Pirate pitchers gave up nine walks.
Wells moves to 4-2 against Pittsburgh. Morton is now 2-3 against the North Siders.
This was the first time ever that Pena walked four times in a single game.
Castro came into the game hitting .415 against the Pirates in 2011.
Jones needs one more double to reach 30 for the second straight year.
Presley has four straight multi-hit games. He is 10-18 in September.
Lee has hit safely in seven of the eight games he has played in.
My worries that Presley wouldn’t be able to play well after his injury appear unfounded.
Hope Lee stays well and motivated to show what he might bring next season.
Is LeRoux the answer as a setup man?