"It felt like a do-or-die game, said Alou, who had two hits and
two RBI. "Sometime you don't want to feel that way, but I felt
like we had to win today. It was a tough road trip."
Carlos Zambrano (5-2) struck out eight in six innings to beat
Pittsburgh for the third time this season, helping end Chicago's
longest skid since Sept. 22-27, 2002. He allowed one run and eight
hits, walked three and hit three batters.
Zambrano said the losing streak had him overthrowing early. He
twice worked out of bases-loaded situations and stranded two
runners in another inning.
"I tried to do too much the first three or four innings because
we've been losing games," Zambrano said. "I didn't have control
of my sinker."
A shouting match with a couple of Pirates players after hitting
a batter in the third helped Zambrano regain his focus.
"Thanks to them," he said. "They woke me up."
"We always talk about getaway day victories, but that was a
supreme getaway day victory there," Cubs manager Dusty Baker said.
"We needed to pick up a game."
Pittsburgh had been trying to extend a winning streak to four
for only the second time this season. Sean Burnett, the Pirates'
No. 1 pick in the 2000 amateur draft, made his major league debut
and allowed one run and four hits in five innings with three walks
and three strikeouts.
Burnett said he was jittery and that feeling never left him.
"I don't remember the game, really. It was all a big blur," he
said. "I was a little overanxious. Hopefully, there will be
another time and I can slow it down a little."
Chicago scored seven runs in the ninth, an inning that ended
with infielder Abraham Nunez on the mound to get the final out.
Moises Alou had a two-run single, and Lee a two-run triple. Ramon
Martinez and Aramis Ramirez each had RBI singles.
Rookie reliever Mike Johnston was ejected in the ninth after he
hit Todd Walker with a pitch, and Pittsburgh manager Lloyd
McClendon also was ejected. Ten Pirates batters were hit by pitches
in the four-game series.
"I'm puzzled by what happened," McClendon said. "Johnston is
a left-handed pitcher facing a left-handed batter. Why does he want
to hit him and have to face Alou, a right-handed hitter, with the
bases loaded? Plus, we didn't have enough pitching. Our bullpen was
Baker said no one was hit deliberately.
"We didn't need to. We're going bad enough already," he said.
"I didn't think Johnston was trying to hit (Walker) either. I
thought he was throwing the ball inside."
The loss kept the Pirates from posting their second four-game
winning streak this season.
"It was a great ballgame for six innings," McClendon said.
"I'll take three out of four anytime."
With the score 1-1 in the seventh, Chicago went ahead. Alou
reached against John Grabow (0-2) on third baseman Rob Mackowiak's
fielding error. took third on Ramirez's single off Brian
Boehringer, and scored as Lee broke his bat on a single that
skipped past shortstop Jack Wilson.
Chicago added a run against Salomon Torres in the eighth on
Ramirez's RBI single.
Randall Simon's RBI single put Pittsburgh ahead in the second,
but Lee's RBI double tied the score in the fifth. The ball bounced
into the stands, preventing a second run from possibly scoring.
Benches cleared for the second consecutive game. Zambrano
hit Craig Wilson with a pitch in the third inning and Daryle Ward,
who was advancing to second, appeared to shout something at the
pitcher. Zambrano walked slowly toward Ward, and that drew both
teams to the center of the infield. No contact was made, no one was
ejected and the teams were quickly returned to their dugouts and
bullpens. The Cubs haven't been swept in a four-game series by the
Pirates since Sept. 16-18, 1969, at Forbes Field, two venues ago
for Pittsburgh. ... Jason Kendall singled in the first to extend
his hitting streak to 16 games. ... Bay made his first start of the
season in CF for Pittsburgh. He went 3-for-3 with a double, two
home runs and eight RBI against Zambrano last Sept. 19. Bay
doubled in the fifth to snap a 0-for-12 streak. ... Burnett allowed
at least one base runner in each of his five innings.