Hill Ks nine Pirates as Cubs cruise to home win

CHICAGO (AP) -- Rich Hill and the Chicago Cubs closed out a
successful homestand in style.

Hill had a career-high nine strikeouts in seven sharp innings
and Ronny Cedeno hit a three-run homer to lead the Cubs over the
Pittsburgh Pirates 6-1 Sunday.

Hill (2-5) yielded one run and five hits with one walk in his
11th career start, carrying over his success from Tuesday night
when he beat the Arizona Diamondbacks for his first career major
league win.

"Same mental approach, I just went out there and attacked,
wasn't trying to be too fine," Hill said. "It was a mental side
of being able to just go out there and pitch like I was in
[Triple-A] Iowa and attack, that's it, that's the bottom line."

Hill was 7-1 with a 1.80 ERA in 15 starts this season for Iowa.

"He's effectively wild," said Jason Bay, who was 0-for-3
against Hill with two strikeouts. "When you see a lot of major
league hitters swinging through fastballs in fastball counts you
know he is doing something right."

The Cubs finished an 11-game homestand with an 8-3 record, the
first time they have won eight games on a homestand since winning
nine of 11 in May 1998. They have won 10 of their last 14 overall.

"Rich gave us everything we needed and it was a great way to
close out this homestand," manager Dusty Baker said.

Ronny Paulino hit a solo homer off Hill in the seventh inning
for the Pirates, who have the worst road record in the majors at
14-42. Paulino has homered three times in the last three games.

After an infield single to Aramis Ramirez and a two-out walk to
John Mabry in the fourth inning, Cedeno hit his fourth home run of
the season off Pirates starter Ian Snell to gives the Cubs a 4-0
lead. Ramirez finished 3-for-4 with two doubles.

In the third inning, Cedeno hit a leadoff single when left
fielder Bay dove for the ball and trapped it. Third base umpire
Fieldin Culbreth originally ruled that Bay caught the ball on the
fly but Baker argued the call and got it reversed. Cedeno, who was
already in the dugout, went back to first and later scored on Cesar
Izturis' two-out single.

Snell (9-8) pitched six innings and allowed five runs and eight
hits. He struck out six and walked two.

"I didn't give up any hard hits besides the home run.
Everything was an infield hit or a bloop hit," Snell said.
"Everything just seemed flat. The slider to Cedeno was flat and
stayed up."

Game notes
Pirates SS Jack Wilson was back in the lineup after missing
three straight games with tightness in his right calf. ... Pirates
3B Joe Randa had two putouts on one play in the fifth inning.
Jacque Jones hit a hard grounder to Wilson at shortstop. Wilson
threw to Randa at third who got Ramirez in a rundown. Randa tagged
Ramirez and then ran down Jones and tagged him out between first
and second. Izturis, running on contact, scored from third on
Jones' hit. ... Bay finished 0-for-4 with three strikeouts. ...
Paulino went 6-for-10 in the three-game series and drove in six
RBI. ... Cedeno was 12-for-28 over the Cubs' homestand with two
home runs.