The Bucs scored in the first on an RBI single by Pedro Alvarez and in the third on a double by Neil Walker, then tacked on a solo homer by Garrett Jones. Cubs starter Carlos Zambrano then left the game with some sort of cramp in his hand. Pirates starter Paul Maholm went 6.2 scoreless innings, then turned the game over to the Pirates bullpen.
… And that’s when it went downhill. Jose Veras recorded an out to finish the seventh, but Evan Meek came on in the eighth and promptly allowed a walk and an RBI double. Then Lyle Overbay missed a relatively easy play at first, allowing another run to score, and Alfonso Soriano’s single on a cookie by Meek allowed the tying run to come home. The Bucs then brought in Chris Resop, who couldn’t stop the bleeding, allowing a walk and then a two-run double by Blake DeWitt.
Carlos Marmol came on in the ninth and mowed down the Pirates, 1-2-3. It looked like the Pirates had a clear shot at this one, but they let it get away. They’ll have the rubber match against the Cubs tomorrow.