Local News

Chicago,  IL (SportsNetwork.com) - Starlin Castro hit a three-run homer, Chris 
Coghlan  had a solo blast and the Chicago Cubs beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 6-3 
on Friday to open a three-game series. 

Coghlan  also tripled  and scored two runs  for the Cubs, who have won four of 
their last five. 

Edwin Jackson (5-7) picked up the win, just his second in his last six starts. 
He  struck out eight and allowed three runs on five hits and two walks but was 
pulled after five innings because of leg cramps. 

"Fortunately I was able to finish the inning and the bullpen came in and did a 
hell of a job," Jackson said. 

Brian  Schlitter,  Wesley Wright, Neil  Ramirez, Pedro Strop and Hector Rondon 
combined to throw four shutout innings with Rondon earning his eighth save. 

"We  kept battling.  We  couldn't  break them  throughout  the game,"  Pirates 
manager Clint Hurdle said of the Chicago pitching. 

Jordy  Mercer had a  three-run homer for the Pirates, who have dropped four of 

Charlie  Morton  (4-8) had a  three-start winning streak snapped, yielding six 
runs on eight hits and two walks in six innings. 

Gregory  Polanco  led off  the game  with a single,  extending his own Pirates 
record by hitting safely in his first 10 major league games. 

The Cubs took a 5-0 lead in the third inning after Anthony Rizzo roped a two- 
run  double into  the right-field corner with the bases loaded and Castro teed 
off on a low pitch for a three-run blast, his 11th homer of the season. 

Mercer  stroked his fifth homer of the season to left field in the fifth after 
Josh  Harrison and Pedro Alvarez started the inning with consecutive walks but 
Coghlan  led off the  bottom of the inning with his second homer of the season 
to get one of the runs back and give the Cubs their 6-3 lead. 

There were two replay reviews early on. 

The  Pirates successfully challenged  a call in the first inning to take a run 
away  from the Cubs.  Replays showed Rizzo was hit on the back foot by a pitch 
he  swung through  that eventually went to the backstop. Coghlan, who tripled, 
was sent back to third base. 

In the second inning, a call at home plate was upheld after Ike Davis tried to 
score from third base when Alvarez was caught in a rundown following a single. 
Cubs catcher John Baker blocked the plate to tag Davis out. 

                                   Game Notes 

Morton had six strikeouts ... Chicago improved to 4-7 against the Pirates this 
season and 11-19 since the beginning of last season ... The Cubs, coming off a 
5-5 road trip, started a 10-game homestand. 

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