Cubs 13, Pirates 9

Anthony Rizzo had another series of firsts. The toughest for him

to conquer was the curtain call.

Rizzo hit two home runs and drove in six to lift the Chicago

Cubs to a 13-9 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates in the third

game of a four-game set.

Rizzo hit a two-run shot in a four-run fifth inning, then capped

a five-run sixth with his first career grand slam to seize the lead

for Chicago. The six RBIs are a career high. It was also the

23-year-old’s first multihomer game.

He reappeared from the dugout briefly after his grand slam to

acknowledge the crowd of 33,559.

”I didn’t know what (my teammates) were saying and then I

realized that’s what you do,” Rizzo said. ”It was pretty


Rizzo became the first Cubs player since Aramis Ramirez in July

of 2010 to drive in six runs.

”Everything he’s done up here is obviously what we’ve

expected,” Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. ”We don’t expect any

more or any less. … He’s been spectacular since he’s been


Pedro Alvarez hit two homers and drove in five for the Pirates,

who lost for the 12th time in 15 games. Pittsburgh came into play

Sunday two games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis

Cardinals for the second wild card.

Rod Barajas went deep for Pittsburgh, and Joe Mather hit a solo

shot for the Cubs.

Staked to a 6-1 lead, the Pirates were unable to hold off the

feisty Cubs, who have taken five of the last six against


Rizzo’s two-run, opposite field blast highlighted a four-run

fifth, then he launched a 3-1 pitch into the left-center field

bleachers off Jared Hughes (2-2) an inning later to put the Cubs up

10-9 and send the home crowd into a frenzy.

Rizzo recalled a game-winning homer he hit in July against St.

Louis – the grand slam didn’t quite compare.

”I don’t think it tops the walk-off, but it was a great game,”

Rizzo said. ”We kept fighting the last couple of days and showing

some resilience.”

David DeJesus had a pinch-hit, two-run single in a three-run

ninth for Chicago.

Alvarez carried the Pirates early, but they could not tack on

late. The big lefty followed Gaby Sanchez’s leadoff single in the

fifth with an opposite-field shot onto Waveland Avenue to extend

the lead to four.

After the Cubs rallied to get within one, Alvarez hit another

opposite field shot in the sixth with two men on to pad the lead

again. It was Alvarez’s sixth multihomer game of the season. He

passed Andrew McCutchen for the team lead with 29.

The Pirates had a chance to tie it with a Starling Marte leadoff

triple in the seventh, but Marte was caught in a rundown on a fake

to third, throw to first by Cubs reliever Jaye Chapman after Neil

Walker and McCutchen failed to get the run in.

”Actually that’s a forced balk, break late try to get the run

to second and try to steal a run at home is what it was,” Pirates

manager Clint Hurdle explained. ”I do believe if Starling could’ve

shown a little more patience that play would have worked for us,

but in the heat of the moment he left a little bit early.”

Jeff Beliveau (1-0) allowed Alvarez’s second home run, but

recorded the final two outs of the sixth to earn his first career


Barajas homered on an 0-2 pitch with a man on and the pitcher on

deck in the second inning to reach double-digits for the year.

McCutchen had an RBI single in the second and reached base four

times. He has reached safely in nine of his last 11 plate

appearances this series.

Pirates starter Jeff Locke was backed by a consistent flow of

Pittsburgh offense, but couldn’t get through the fifth inning to

earn his first big league victory.

The 24-year-old Locke was staked to a 6-1 lead until things fell

apart in a four-run fifth.

Mather’s one-out solo homer started a string of four straight

hits for the Cubs, which included Rizzo’s two-run shot.

Cubs starter Chris Volstad had trouble finding the strike zone,

and was hit hard when he did. The big righty gave up six runs on 10

hits through 4 2-3 innings. He walked four and struck out


Volstad had won three of his last four starts after enduring a

brutal 24-start winless skid that spanned 13 months.

Alfonso Soriano drove in his 100th run of the season with a

first-inning single to bring home Rizzo. It’s Soriano’s third

career 100-RBI season, and first since 2005 when he had a

career-high 104 with Texas.

NOTES: Pirates manager Clint Hurdle removed RHP James McDonald

from the starting rotation due to a poor second half. RHP Kyle

McPherson will take McDonald’s turn in the rotation Wednesday

against Milwaukee. McDonald is 3-5 with a 7.08 ERA since the

All-Star break. … Chicago sends LHP Travis Wood (6-11, 4.23 ERA)

to the mound in the series finale Monday against Pittsburgh’s RHP

Kevin Correia (10-9, 4.29).