Karstens was by no means ineffective, but the Cubs made him work. In the first inning alone, he threw 21 pitches, while allowing a solo home run to Starlin Castro. That would be the only run he allowed in his five innings of work. A pretty good start, but he had to throw a ton of pitches just to get through five.
Starling Marte tied the game with a leadoff home run in the third, and the Pirates took the lead when Wood balked in a run. Both pitchers were done after just five innings, and the bullpens took over. Chris Resop, Tony Watson, and Jared Hughes got the Bucs through seven, and the offense showed up in the eighth. Shawn Camp entered the game for the Cubs, and gave up seven straight hits to start the inning. J-Hay singled, Cutch doubled, and Garrett Jones drove them both in with a pinch-hit single. New Bucco Travis Snider singled, and Michael McKenry followed with the big blow – an absolute BOMB for a three-run homer. Still with no outs, Pedro Alvarez and Clint Barmes roped singles up the middle, but the next three batters were retired.
Jason Grilli pitched a quick inning, and Jones tacked on a run in the ninth to make it 9-1. Joel Hanrahan came in to close it out, although it wasn’t a save situation. Before recording an out, the Cubs hit for the cycle in the ninth off of Hanny, making it 9-4. Hanrahan bore down to strike out the side and complete the victory. The Bucs took two of three in ChiTown, and got their 60th win of 2012.
Two notes about the game:
– Pedro stole his first base of the year.
– Gaby Sanchez went 0-2 with a walk in his Pirates debut.
Thursday is an off-day, and the big series with the Reds begins Friday night in Cincy.
Pirates (60-44) – Cubs (43-60)
Win: Karstens (4-2)
Loss: Wood (4-7)