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Rookie Duke makes it look easy against major-leaguers

CHICAGO (AP) -- Zach Duke left 300-game winner Greg Maddux quite
impressed.

Duke continued the brilliant start to his career by outpitching
Maddux for eight innings, leading the Pittsburgh Pirates over the
Chicago Cubs 3-0 Saturday.

Duke (2-0), making his third career start, continued his
dominance against big leaguers. He allowed six hits, struck out
four, and extended his scoreless innings streak to 17. The
22-year-old left-hander lowered his ERA to 1.23.

"It was OK, I got outpitched though," Maddux said of his
performance. "Their guy didn't make many mistakes and pitched a
very good game. He shut down a team that has been swinging the bats
really good the last couple of games."

Jason Bay ended an 0-for-18 slump with a homer as the Pirates
snapped the Cubs' five-game winning streak. Jose Mesa pitched the
ninth for his 22nd save in 25 chances.

Duke, who induced four double plays, started the season at
Triple-A Indianapolis but was promoted after going 12-3. He was the
Pirates' minor league pitcher of the year in 2004, when he had a
1.46 ERA for Double-A Altoona and Class A Lynchburg.

"When you look up at the board he was 1-0 with a 1.93 ERA, so
he was getting somebody out," Cubs manager Dusty Baker said. "He
had the double-play ball working today. Every time we had him in
trouble he enticed us in a double play."

Duke was promoted July 1 and quickly found himself matched up
against one of baseball's best pitchers.

"He's a Hall of Fame guy. I'm very honored just to be on the
same field with him," Duke said.

Maddux (8-7) was nearly as sharp, allowing five hits in eight
innings. But the Pirates scored twice against the 313-game winner
in the first two innings to snap their three-game losing streak.

Bay hit a solo homer to left-center in the first inning, his
17th of the season. Humberto Cota and Jack Wilson hit back-to-back
singles in the second, and Cota scored on Duke's sacrifice fly for
a 2-0 lead.

Duke's sacrifice fly was his highlight of the game.

"I'm more proud of that than anything, to be honest with you,"
Duke said. "I got an RBI off of Greg Maddux. I'm going to call
home and tell my parents that. I just put the bat on the ball and
got lucky."

Maddux retired 13 in a row between the second and the sixth. He
allowed two earned runs and struck out six, leaving him six away
from 3,000 in his career.

Duke pitched out of jams in the fifth and sixth innings. With
one out and runners on first and third in the fifth, Duke struck
out Henry Blanco and got Maddux to ground out.

Jerry Hairston and Todd Walker hit back-to-back singles in the
sixth, but Duke came back and struck out Derrek Lee on a curveball
and got Aramis Ramirez to hit into a double play.

Duke was not intimidated about facing Lee and Ramirez with
runners in scoring position.

"I was kind of happy about it. That's the kind of stuff I like
to see. You want to face the best in the best situations," Duke
said. "What's the fun of playing baseball if you're not going to
be put to the test?"

Lee and Ramirez went 0-for-6 against Duke.

"I had first and third with nobody out and the Triple Crown
leader up there. I couldn't ask for it work out any better than it
did," Duke said.

The Pirates scored their final run in the seventh. After a
two-out walk to Jack Wilson, second baseman Walker booted Duke's
grounder. Matt Lawton followed with a double to make it 3-0.

Game notes
Cubs catcher Michael Barrett was out of the starting lineup
with a sore left hip. He is day to day. ... Pirates OF Craig Wilson
broke his left hand in the first inning. He was hit by a pitch on
his left hand in the first inning and left the game in the second
inning. The Pirates will place Craig Wilson on the disabled list
Sunday and they will also make a related roster move.