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Pittsburgh,  PA  (SportsNetwork.com) -  Emilio Bonifacio continued his blazing 
hot start with a pair of hits and two runs scored to back a strong effort from 
Jason Hammel in his Cubs debut, as Chicago salvaged the finale of a three-game 
set in Pittsburgh with a 3-2 victory over the Pirates on Thursday. 

Mike  Olt clubbed his first big league homer for the Cubs, who will open their 
home  schedule on Friday afternoon against Philadelphia. Bonifacio was 2-for-4 
with a double and finished 11-for-16 in the series. 

"I  only walked in (Wrigley Field) a couple times and last time I was in it it 
was snowing," Olt said when asked about Friday's home opener. "It will be nice 
to get over there. I'm excited for the opening day." 

Hammel  (1-0) yielded  just two hits and  one run with five strikeouts and one 
walk  in 6  2/3 innings.  He signed  a one-year  deal in  the offseason  after 
spending the past two seasons in Baltimore. 

Wandy  Rodriguez  (0-1) went the first  six innings for Pittsburgh and allowed 
three  runs  on five  hits with a  walk and five  strikeouts. The lefty hadn't 
pitched in the majors since last June 5 because of forearm pain. 

The Pirates won the first two games in walkoff fashion -- 1-0 on a 10th-inning 
homer  by Neil  Walker  on Monday  and  4-3 in  a  nearly six-hour,  16-inning 
marathon  on Wednesday.  Thursday's game started less than 12 hours after Tony 
Sanchez's game-winning hit on Wednesday. 

"The three games have been tough," said Cubs manager Rick Renteria, who earned 
his first MLB win. "Taking this one home at the end feels very gratifying." 

Sanchez  drove  in both Pittsburgh runs  in the seventh inning and the Pirates 
had chances to pull it out against the Chicago bullpen. 

The  Pirates managed only  a pair of singles through the first six innings and 
trailed  3-0,  then chased Hammel  in the  seventh. After Andrew McCutchen and 
Pedro  Alvarez were retired,  Walker drew a walk to end Hammel's day and pinch 
hitter Gaby Sanchez doubled down the left field line off James Russell. 

Justin  Grimm was  next on the hill  and Tony Sanchez grounded a single up the 
middle  to  score both  runners. Sanchez  raced to second  when the throw from 
center  field went to the backstop, but Jordy Mercer flied harmlessly to right 
field to keep it a one-run game. 

Pittsburgh  threatened again  in the eighth. Jose Tabata led off with a single 
and Grimm set down the next two batters on strikes, the first coming on a foul 
bunt  attempt  by Starling  Marte. McCutchen  drew a two-out  walk to push the 
tying  run to  second, but Brian Schlitter  retired Alvarez on a tapper up the 
first base line. 

"We didn't have a bunt on with two strikes," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said 
about Marte's bunt attempt. "He was confident he could pull it off, but I told 
him I was confident he could hit it in the gap with two strikes." 

The  Pirates then got  a leadoff single from Walker to start the ninth against 
Pedro  Strop,  but Gaby Sanchez popped  up a bunt  and Tony Sanchez hit a soft 
liner  back  to the mound  that turned into  an game-ending double play. Strop 
notched his first save. 

"All in all, we won a series and we'll move on," added Hurdle. 

Bonifacio's incredible start continued when he led off the game with a single, 
stole second with two outs and scored on a base hit by Anthony Rizzo. 

Olt  made  it 2-0 with a  leadoff homer in the  second and Bonifacio was at it 
again  in  the third.  He doubled  to right field,  took third  on a single by 
Starlin Castro and scored on a double-play grounder by Justin Ruggiano. 

                                   Game Notes 

Bonifacio  also stole four bases during the series ... The Cubs haven't opened 
with  three straight  losses since an 0-14  start in 1997 ... The Pirates last 
started  3-0 in  2007 ... Pittsburgh will  host St. Louis for three games this 
weekend,  then will visit Wrigley Field for a three-game series, starting next 
Tuesday ... Rodriguez fell to 9-8 in 25 career starts against Chicago. 

 
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