Final

Series: Game 2 of 3

Series tied 1-1 (as of 6/5)

Game 1: Friday, June 4
Pittsburgh2Final
Chi Cubs1
Game 2: Saturday, June 5
Pittsburgh1Final
Chi Cubs6
Game 3: Sunday, June 6
Pittsburgh1Final
Chi Cubs4

Pirates 1

(24-28, 15-10 away)

Cubs 6

(28-26, 15-12 home)

1:05 PM ET, June 5, 2004

Wrigley Field, Chicago, Illinois 

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PIT 000000100 1 4 1
CHC 00000033 - 6 8 1

W: C. Zambrano (6-2)

L: K. Benson (4-5)

Cubs finally get to Benson in the seventh

CHICAGO (AP) -- A day after Mark Prior returned with an overpowering outing for the Chicago Cubs, Carlos Zambrano made sure there was no letdown on the mound.

Zambrano pitched eight solid innings and Rey Ordonez hit a two-run single in the seventh to lead the Cubs over the Pittsburgh Pirates 6-1 Saturday.

Derrek Lee added a two-run homer in the eighth for Chicago, which snapped a three-game losing streak.

One day after Prior's brilliant season debut, Zambrano was just as tough. He allowed one run on four hits, and struck out seven and walked two. He retired six of the last seven batters he faced.

"It's tough sometimes to follow that the next day, but he came in and mentally he was locked in and ready to go from his bullpen on," Cubs catcher Michael Barrett said.

Zambrano stopped the Cubs' five-game losing streak last Sunday against Pittsburgh in a 12-1 win, and he ended up being the stopper again on Saturday.

"Zambrano has been great all year. He's a dominant pitcher, when he is on the mound other teams seem like they never get a bunch of hits or score a lot of runs. We needed that performance today," Lee said.

Pittsburgh was without manager Lloyd Mclendon, serving the first of a two-game suspension for his shouting match with Cardinals manager Tony La Russa on Thursday. The Pirates have lost six of their last seven games.

The Cubs struggled against Pirates starter Kris Benson until the seventh. Benson retired the first 10 batters he faced before giving up an infield hit to Barrett in the fourth inning. Aramis Ramirez then drew a walk, but Benson bounced back retiring the next seven batters.

Working with a 1-0 lead in the seventh, Benson (4-5) gave up a leadoff double to Moises Alou and then a single to Ramirez. He walked Lee to load the bases with one out and was lifted for reliever Mike Gonzalez. Gonzalez got Corey Patterson to hit a grounder to first, but Pirates first baseman Randall Simon's throw home sailed over catcher Jason Kendall's head allowing Alou to score. Ordonez followed with a two-run single to center, scoring Ramirez and Lee, giving the Cubs a 3-1 lead.

"For the most part, I liked what I saw. For seven innings that was a pretty good ballgame and the guys played pretty well," said McClendon who watched the game from a private box. "Defensively we just gave the game away today."

Benson pitched 6 1-3 innings, allowing three runs -- two earned -- and gave up three hits. He struck out seven and walked two.

"It's going to be a tough challenge getting those guys (Alou and Ramirez) out every point of the game," Benson said. "Unfortunately I didn't get those outs when I needed them that last inning and it cost me the ballgame."

Zambrano gave up a leadoff homer to Jason Bay in the seventh on a 3-2 pitch. The ball landed in the right-field basket, giving the Pirates a 1-0 lead.

The Cubs padded their lead in the eighth. Alou scored on Todd Hollandsworth's potential double-play grounder and Lee followed with a two-run homer to left off Pirates reliever Mark Corey, giving the Cubs a 6-1 lead.

Game notes


Cubs RHP Kerry Wood threw long toss before the game. He is on the 15-day disabled list with a right triceps strain. ... Cubs OF Sammy Sosa took swings before the game in the batting cages. He doesn't have a timetable for when he will return.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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