Chicago, IL (SportsNetwork.com) - Junior Lake and Mike Olt smacked back-to-
back home runs in the fifth inning to help the Chicago Cubs to a 7-5 win over
the Pittsburgh Pirates in the middle test of a three-game set from Wrigley
Jason Hammel (2-0) went seven strong innings for the Cubs, allowing three
runs on three hits while striking out six. Anthony Rizzo went 4-for-5 with
two doubles and two runs scored while Emilio Bonifacio continued his torrid
start to the campaign, recording two more hits in the triumph. Bonifacio
now has 19 hits in eight games.
Pittsburgh got its five runs on five solo homers, including a pair from both
Pedro Alvarez and Russell Martin. Travis Snider also went yard for the
"I got my first taste of Wrigley," joked Hammel, who signed with Chicago over
the winter. "When the wind's howling out, you have to keep the ball down. I
only made three mistakes today, and they all left the yard."
Jose Tabata's pinch-hit single in the eighth inning was the only Pittsburgh
hit that did not leave the ballpark.
Wandy Rodriguez (0-2) was tagged for four runs on nine hits over five innings
Olt's two-run homer with two outs in the fifth broke a 1-1 tie and put the
Cubs in front. Lake followed with his first of the year and after five,
Chicago held a 4-1 advantage.
The visitors tacked on three more runs in the sixth. Rizzo plated Bonifacio
with a double to center, Olt singled home Justin Ruggiano and Lake made it,
7-1, when Rizzo scored on his fielder's choice.
From there, Chicago survived a pair of two-run innings. Snider opened the top
of the seventh with a solo shot to center and with two outs in the inning,
Martin belted one just over the ivory for a 7-3 margin.
Pedro Strop took the hill for the ninth and induced an Andrew McCutchen
groundout before Alvarez and Martin hit consecutive jacks. Strop struck out
the next two batters he faced to end the game.
"No matter what the store is, we're going to give our best effort," said
Martin. "Today they were better than us. They scored more runs. We're trying
to win the series tomorrow."
Earlier, Ruggiano's RBI double in the first inning gave the Cubs a 1-0 lead,
and Alvarez tied it when he led off the top of the fifth with a home run.
Travis Wood and Gerrit Cole are set to take the hill in Thursday's rubber
match. The Pirates took 2-of-3 from Chicago in Pittsburgh to kick off the
The Cubs went 2-for-10 with runners in scoring position, leaving 10 men on
base. Pittsburgh did not have an at-bat with a runner in scoring position ...
Chicago catcher Welington Castillo had his first multi-hit game of the season,
finishing 2-for-3 with a double.