Cubs hang on to beat Pirates

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By Paul Sullivan, Tribune reporter2:19 p.m. CDT, April 4, 2013

PITTSBURGH– The Cubs didn’t get much offense again Thursday in the finale of their three-game series against the Pirates, but won 3-2 in another crazy affair that scared their fans here and afar.

The Cubs took a 3-0 lead into the ninth with Carlos Marmol called upon to close it out for starter Travis Wood.

Marmol gave up a single, walk and RBI single to Andrew McCutchen to let the Pirates pull to within two runs before pitching coach Chris Bosio came out to the mound. Gaby Sanchez grounded a single past a diving Anthony Rizzo as the second run scored and the tying run moved to third.

Marmol then struck out Pedro Alvarez and induced a game-ending double play grounder from Neil Walker to end it.

After knocking out three hits in the first inning of the opener, the Cubs failed to get more than one hit in any of the next 17 innings, and went 0-for-13 with runners in scoring position.

“We’ve actually gottten some pretty good pitches to hit,” manager Dale Sveum said. “We haven’t had real bad at-bats. We obviously haven’t had the results.”

Starlin Castro ended the drought with an RBI single in the third, giving the Cubs a 1-0 lead.

Wood made his first start for the Cubs, facing James McDonald and dominated the Pirates, allowing one hit over six innings.

Sveum replaced Wood with Shawn Camp in the seventh, after Wood threw 85 pitches. Shawn Camp and James Russell got them through the seventh, and Kyuji Fujikawa threw a perfect eighth.

McDonald limited the Cubs to two hits over seven innings, by Wood and Castro in the third. But Nate Schierholtz’s two-run home run off Jared Hughes in the ninth made it 3-0.

The Cubs victory gave them their first opening series win since 2009, when they took two of three from the Astros.


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