PITTSBURGH (AP) -- The way the Cubs hit and win in Pittsburgh,
maybe PNC Park should be renamed Wrigley Field East.
Matt Murton's bases-loaded triple and Todd Walker's four hits
helped give Chicago a six-run lead, and the Cubs held off a
Pittsburgh comeback attempt to beat the Pirates 11-6 Friday night.Chicago withstood three homers in a span of four batters in the
sixth inning -- by Nate McLouth, Craig Wilson and Jason Bay -- to win
its eighth in a row in Pittsburgh. The Cubs have won 12 of 13 there
since May 30, 2004, and have won 21 of their last 27 against the
Pirates."It got scary there for a while," Cubs manager Dusty Baker
said.The Pirates dropped their ninth in 12 games under new manager
Jim Tracy, as poor starting pitching again put them in a big hole.
Victor Santos (1-2) gave up six runs and 10 hits in 4 1-3 innings.No Pirates starter has pitched into the seventh in 12 games, and
only one, Santos, has a victory. Pirates starters have been pulled
by the fifth inning seven times and have worked into the sixth only
five times."You're down 8-2, that's a long way to come back," Tracy said.
"The starting pitching is the thing that is holding us up. We have
to settle that matter."Murton doubled and scored on rookie pitcher Sean Marshall's
first career hit, a single, to put the Cubs up 2-0 in the second.
After four of the Cubs' first five batters in the fifth singled off
Santos, Murton tripled to the exact spot where he doubled in the
second -- hitting a pole that divides the out-of-town scoreboard
from the right-field stands. Murton has seven hits in four games"It's great the way he's producing," Michael Barrett said.Murton's triple made it 6-2 in the four-run fifth and chased
Santos. Reliever Ryan Vogelsong followed with his second rough
outing in as many days, allowing his first four batters to reach
base as the Cubs added two more runs in the sixth on Todd Walker's
RBI single and a double-play grounder.Vogelsong, whose ERA is 10.57, allowed his final five batters to
reach base in the Pirates' 13-5 loss to the Dodgers on Thursday.The 6-foot-6 Marshall (1-0), getting his first major league
victory in his second career start, pitched better than he did in
giving up four runs in 4 1-3 innings Sunday against the Cardinals,
even if it didn't appear so on his pitching line. He gave up five
hits and four runs in five-plus innings."I got the win, got a hit, that's pretty good outing,"
Marshall said. "That was a lot of fun."Marshall left after McLouth homered and Jack Wilson singled in
the sixth. Michael Wuertz came on and allowed Craig Wilson and Bay
to homer in succession, making it 8-6. Craig Wilson, who entered
when first baseman Sean Casey reinjured his ribs in the third
inning, hit his fifth of the season and fourth in four games."I don't think we're pressing," Craig Wilson said, referring
to how the Pirates repeatedly keep falling behind early. "Maybe we
need to go out and relax more and do what we do best."Scott Williamson replaced Wuertz and struck out Humberto Cota
and pinch-hitter Freddy Sanchez with runners on second and third.
He went on to pitch two shutout innings."They swing the bats well and got some momentum going, but we
were able to get it back," Walker said. "I think that's a tribute
to Scott Williamson coming in there and getting the momentum back
on our side."Ryan Dempster finished up in the ninth in a non-save situation
created when the Cubs added three runs in the ninth with the help
of third baseman Joe Randa's run-scoring throwing error.There have been 21 homers in the first five games at PNC Park,
which yielded only 140 homers all last season. But while the
Pirates have hit 11 homers, they have allowed 43 runs. And their
opponents have at least 11 hits in every game."The ball is flying out of this ballpark, and ordinarily it
doesn't," Baker said. "It's strange for here."
Walker's four-hit game was the 15th of his career. ...
Derrek Lee singled twice, giving him 41 hits against Pittsburgh the
last three seasons. ... Casey went to a hospital for tests after
being reinjured while fielding a throw at first base. He missed
three consecutive starts with sore ribs earlier in the week. ...
Cubs RHP Greg Maddux turned 40 Friday. ... Cubs 3B Aramis Ramirez
returned after missing two starts with a strained muscle. ... Craig
Wilson is 4-for-5 with two homers against Wuertz.