Series: Game 1 of 3

Pittsburgh leads 1-0 (as of 8/28)

Game 1: Monday, August 28
Chi Cubs6Final
Game 2: Tuesday, August 29
Chi Cubs6Final
in 11
Game 3: Wednesday, August 30
Chi Cubs9Final
in 11

Cubs 6

(54-77, 27-41 away)

Pirates 11

(51-81, 34-33 home)

    7:05 PM ET, August 28, 2006

    PNC Park, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 

    123456789 R H E
    CHC 100004100 6 6 0
    PIT 23031002 - 11 19 1

    W: I. Snell (12-8)

    L: A. Guzman (0-4)

    D-Lee's back but Cubs still can't handle Pirates

    PITTSBURGH (AP) -- The Chicago Cubs welcomed back last year's batting champ, Derrek Lee, but it was this year's likely winner that had the last laugh.

    Elias Says

    Derrek Lee
    Derrek Lee returned to the Cubs lineup and Dusty Baker said, "You can figure he can make up 10, 12 or 15 games by himself." Well, this isn't an exact science, but in the 35 games that Lee has played this year, the Cubs are 16-19, a .457 winning percentage that translates to 74 wins over a 162-game season. In the 96 games Lee has missed, the Cubs are 38-58, a .396 winning percentage that comes out to 64 wins over 162 games. So while Dusty's math is not rocket-science good, it's close enough to explain the loss of D-Lee.

    • For more Elias Says, Click here.

    Freddy Sanchez had three hits to raise his NL-leading batting average to .349, and the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Cubs 11-6 in a matchup of the teams with the poorest records in the National League.

    "Everyone was getting good at bats, putting good wood on the ball," Sanchez said. "It was good to see everyone hitting the ball well. It was one of those nights where everyone was getting good at bats."

    Sanchez has hit safely in 17 of his past 20 games and leads Florida's Miguel Cabrera by 12 points in the batting race.

    "This guy is not only fighting to win a batting championship, but you watch him every day, and he just keeps becoming a better and better offensive player," Pittsburgh manager Jim Tracy said. "This guy is a premiere offensive player."

    Chris Duffy had three hits, three runs, two RBI and a stolen base, and Ronny Paulino had three hits and two RBI for Pittsburgh, which got 15 hits in the first five innings, took a 9-1 lead and stopped a three-game losing streak.

    The Pirates finished with 19 hits, and every starter except the pitcher had at least one. Pittsburgh was coming off a 13-1 loss to Houston.

    "When you get beat as badly as we did yesterday and to come back as we did today is a sign of where we are and how far we have come as a team," Tracy said.

    Ian Snell (12-8) won despite allowing five runs, five hits and three walks in 5 2/3 innings. Snell became the first Pirates right-hander -- and only their second pitcher overall -- to win 12 games in the last four seasons. Kip Wells and Josh Fogg each won 12 games in 2002, and lefty Oliver Perez won 12 in 2004.

    "I set some goals for myself," Snell said. "I'm excited for myself and for my team because every win we get is a hard-fought. We're fighting to get as close to .500 as we can."

    Lee, who had been on the disabled list since July 24 because of an inflamed right wrist, had a two-run single for the Cubs, and Juan Pierre went 3-for-4 with two RBI.

    "I got some good pitches to hit," said Lee, who flied out sharply to center in his other three at-bats. "Got some good wood on them, but I wouldn't exactly say I'm back in the groove quite yet."

    It was the second time on the DL this season for Lee. He was on the 15-day disabled list from April 21-June 25 after he fractured the distal radius and distal ulna bones in his right wrist on April 19 in Los Angeles.

    Lee, 30, is batting .261 with four home runs and 14 RBI in 34 games this season. Cubs manager Dusty Baker said he would monitor the condition of Lee's wrist and consider giving him more days off than he normally would the remainder of the season.

    Angel Guzman (0-4) allowed eight runs and 10 hits in three-plus innings. He lost to the Pirates 8-0 on May 2 in Chicago.

    The Cubs (54-87) went ahead when Pierre hit the third pitch of the game for his second home run, but Pittsburgh (51-81) took the lead for good on Jason Bay's two-run homer in the bottom half.

    Duffy, Jose Bautista and Sanchez hit RBI singles in the third. After Guzman walked Bay with the bases loaded and no outs in the fourth, Paulino hit a two-run single off Glendon Rusch. Bautista's RBI single made it 9-1 in the fifth.

    "Today we all swung the bat real well, which is good after what happened yesterday," Bautista said. "Hopefully, that will continue."

    Chicago closed in the sixth on Lee's two-run single and Michael Barrett's two-run double, which chased Snell.

    "We battled back and threatened and got close, and they jumped us again in the (eighth)," Cubs manager Dusty Baker said. "We've got to hold them."

    Game Notes
    To make room for Lee, the Cubs optioned infielder Buck Coats to Triple-A Iowa. Coats, 24, was 0-for-3 as a pinch hitter with the Cubs since being recalled Aug. 22. ... Rain -- heavy at times -- started in the bottom of the fourth and continued throughout the remainder of the game. There were no delays. ... Pierre's home run was the third of his career leading off a game. ... Bay's 29th homer stopped an 0-for-12 slide. ... Duffy was 0-for-14 coming in. ... The Pirates are 11-2 when Duffy steals a base.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press