Despite racking up 14 hits, Clint Hurdle's Pittsburgh Pirates still couldn't pull out a victory over the Chicago Cubs on Sunday in a 13-9 loss at Wrigley Field.
Pittsburgh slugger Pedro Alvarez helped his team expand its lead to 5-1 in the fifth inning with a two-run homer to left field, and then kept things rolling with a three-run bomb in the very next inning. Although Pittsburgh's pitching staff would soon prove incapable of holding onto the lead, Alvarez improved his power numbers to 29 home runs and 80 RBI with the big afternoon.
Pirates starter Jeff Locke was absolved a loss after his offense perked up, but left the game after 4 1/3 innings after serving up five earned runs on seven hits. The 24-year-old Locke also gave up a pair of home runs for the second consecutive start, and will need to do a much better job of disguising his pitches next time out.
Hoping to salvage a split over the four-game series, the Pirates will send righty Kevin Correia to the mound for Monday's finale against Chicago's Travis Wood.
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