• Summary: Paul Maholm threw seven sterling innings and the Pirates sank Chicago 4-2 in Pittsburgh and sent the White Sox to their fourth straight loss.
• Hero: Maholm (3-8), who allowed only three hits and three walks, struck out six.
• Figure this: Xavier Nady nailed a first-inning pitch from Jon Garland into the right-field corner, driving in Jason Bay and Adam LaRoche and sent the Pirates on their way to only their fourth win in Maholm's 14 starts.
• Quotable: "That's the way were going right now. It's kind of getting old seeing this day-in and day-out." -- White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen
-- ESPN.com news services
Pirates 4, White Sox 2
PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Pittsburgh starter Paul Maholm wasn't convinced he would make it out of the first inning Friday night, things were going so poorly.Then again, things have been going so poorly for the White Sox that Maholm shouldn't have been concerned.Maholm loaded the bases in the first and gave up a run, before shutting down Chicago over the next six innings in a 4-2 victory."After the first few batters, I didn't know how long I was going to be in there, because it was just one of those things where the stuff wasn't going where I wanted it to," Maholm said. "For some reason, it just clicked, and I went from there."Maholm (3-8) scattered eight baserunners while throwing 108 pitches -- he allowed three hits, walked three batters and hit two -- as the Pirates won for only the fourth time in his 14 starts this season.Jose Bautista and Xavier Nady each drove in two runs for the Pirates, who have won three of four during a six-game interleague homestand. Chicago has lost nine of its last 10."It was a very well-pitched game by Paul Maholm," Pittsburgh manager Jim Tracy said. "He had some trouble locating and settling in, but he did a nice job in the first inning where they got just the run, and once he got himself going I think the big key was the sinker and the location of it."After two walks and a Jermaine Dye single to left, A.J. Pierzynski's sacrifice fly to center scored Andy Gonzalez in the first. Maholm dazzled after that to win for the first time in six decisions."I was happy when I came out after the first having only given up one run, because it could have been a lot worse," said Maholm, whose only other win at home this season came April 24. "I told myself when I got into the dugout that that was all they were getting."Shawn Chacon, in his first outing since being removed from the starting rotation after a poor start Sunday at Yankee Stadium, pitched a perfect eighth for the Pirates.Matt Capps loaded the bases in the ninth, then walked Alex Cintron to score Pierzynski and make it 4-2. But Capps got Gonzalez to ground out for his fourth save."It definitely wasn't the best I ever felt, walking two guys and hitting a guy, but I got through it and we got the win," said Capps, who had only unintentionally walked two batters in 36 2/3 innings entering the contest.Josh Fields had two hits for Chicago, which has lost four in a row and 16 of 19, and has scored only 26 runs in its past 10 games."That's the way were going right now," manager Ozzie Guillen said. "It's kind of getting old seeing this day-in and day-out."The Pirates took the lead for good in the bottom of the first with three consecutive two-out hits off White Sox starter Jon Garland (4-4). Nady's double scored Jason Bay and Adam LaRoche."It was good to bounce back quick from the deficit, even if it was a [small] deficit," Bautista said. "We got on top of them and never let go."Pittsburgh made it 3-1 in the second when Bautista singled home Jack Wilson. Two innings later, Wilson led off with a single and was sacrificed to second by Maholm. He later scored on a single by Bautista, who has 10 hits and nine RBIs in his past six games."I'm seeing the ball well, just trying to put the barrel on the ball as much as possible," Bautista said. "I happened to manage to do it twice tonight and at the right time."Garland allowed four runs on 11 hits while striking out four and walking none. He has won only one of his past five starts."It's kind of been the story all season," Garland said. "It's no secret we're not hitting the ball well right now -- it hasn't been a secret all year long. All you can do is keep coming to the yard and keep putting in the time, keep putting in the effort, and hopefully sooner or later it turns around."
Pittsburgh OF Chris Duffy left the game after five innings due to a right hamstring sprain. He was replaced in center field by Nate McLouth. ... Pirates 2B Freddy Sanchez did not play due to flu-like symptoms. ... Chicago leads the all-time series with Pittsburgh 8-7, but the Pirates have won five of the nine games played at PNC Park. ... Pittsburgh has won the first game in 12 of the past 16 series.