Cubs 14, Pirates 4
For a team in transition, the Chicago Cubs played quite well.
On the day they traded two players and looked to make more deals, the Cubs enjoyed their highest-scoring game of the season. Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro homered during a nine-run fifth inning and Chicago routed the Pittsburgh Pirates 14-4 Monday night.
Rizzo and Darwin Barney hit three-run homers. Castro had a two-run shot and reached base four times as the Cubs won for the 11th time in their last 13 games at Wrigley Field.
After the game, the Cubs announced that outfielder Reed Johnson and pitcher Paul Maholm had been dealt to Atlanta. There was talk that catcher Geovany Soto was headed to Texas, and ace Ryan Dempster was sure to attract plenty of interest before Tuesday afternoon's trade deadline.
''You hate to pull guys out of games,'' Cubs manager Jed Hoyer said. ''It's sort of part of the business. It isn't comfortable to go down there and make moves.''
''I'm glad in this case it didn't impact the actual game. The Pirates are in pennant race,'' he said. ''These things could come down to one game.''
Rizzo's drive off Erik Bedard (5-12) keyed Chicago's biggest burst of the year. On Sunday, his 10th-inning homer beat St. Louis.
Rizzo leads all NL rookies with a .330 average, eight homers and 20 RBIs since being recalled from Triple-A Iowa on June 26. The Cubs have gone 18-10 since he joined the team.
Justin Germano (1-1) held Pittsburgh to two runs over five innings in his first start since Oct. 3, 2010. He picked up his first win since Aug. 28, 2007, when he beat Arizona as a member of the San Diego Padres.
''I've never really been a part of anything like that,'' Germano said. ''There's a lot of things a lot of things I can take from this game. It was a fun night.''
Johnson and Soto were taken out in the middle innings for pinch hitters. They hugged their teammates in the dugout.
''I can't lie to you,'' Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. ''It's the first time I ever went through that.''
There was little doubt about outcome of the game when the players were removed, largely thanks to a career night from Barney that started with an uncharacteristic defensive miscue.
Barney dropped a throw when trying to make a pivot on a double play, allowing the Pirates to take a 2-1 lead in the fourth. Barney, who completed his 88th straight errorless game at second base, was not charged with an error on the play because he got the out at second.
''I was so upset with myself not turning the double play,'' Barney said. ''I was angry the whole at-bat. That's all I could think about because of the bobble.''
Barney made up for it in the bottom half, tagging Bedard for his first career three-run homer, a shot deep into the bleachers in left-center field.
''Definitely was probably the best ball I've hit since I've been at the big league level,'' Barney said. ''It was just one of those things that he had such a good curveball today, he threw a slide-step fastball and was kind of anticipating a fastball there.''
Barney also tripled, drove in a career-best four runs and scored three.
Pinch hitter David DeJesus stepped the plate after an awkward pause when Johnson was due to bat for the second time during the fifth-inning surge. DeJesus ultimately lined a two-run single.
Castro capped the big inning with his 10th homer of the season, a shot to deep center field.
Bedard allowed nine runs, matching a career worst and his 12 defeats give him the most in the majors. The Cubs have beaten eight of the last nine lefty starters they've faced
''They hit good pitches, bad pitches and the unfortunate thing they went over the fence,'' Bedard said. ''I felt really good. I guess that's the positive out of it.''
Rookie Starling Marte had three hits and an RBI for the Pirates and Mike McKenry drove in two runs.
NOTES: Dempster is slated to start the second game of the series for the Cubs. Sveum said he would be ''surprised'' if Dempster was still with the team after Tuesday's trade deadline. Chicago will have a minor league pitcher travel to Chicago as a contingency to a Dempster transaction. ... Another subject of trade rumors, Cubs RHP Matt Garza threw a bullpen session on Monday that Sveum said went ''extremely well.'' Garza is expected to return to action later this week. His last start was pushed back because of cramping in his right arm. ... Pirates manager Clint Hurdle celebrated his 55th birthday on Monday.