The Pirates scored two runs on RBI singles early in the game, but the Cubs came back with a two-run, bases-loaded double by Carlos Pena in the fourth. The Bucs took a 3-2 lead with an RBI single by Lyle Overbay, but Starlin Castro answered with a triple in the fifth, and he was brought home on a sacrifice fly by Darwin Barney.
Pirates starter Ross Ohlendorf’s command was shaky throughout much of the game, and manager Clint Hurdle left him in too long, allowing him to give up a solo homer to Alfonso Soriano in the sixth that was completely unnecessary. The Bucs came back in the ninth, though – they managed to get Garrett Jones and Neil Walker aboard against closer Carlos Marmol, and after Overbay sacrificed the runners over, Pedro Alvarez hit a dribbler to shortstop, and Castro threw to first. Jones came home on the play, and Walker alertly came home too, barely beating the Cubs’ throw home, and giving the Pirates a 5-4 lead.
Joel Hanrahan pitched well in the bottom of the ninth, shutting the door despite an ugly error by Ronny Cedeno on what could have been an inning-ending double play.
Matt Garza racked up 12 strikeouts for the Cubs, and the Pirates were, frankly, lucky to get as much offense as they did – they managed 16 singles on the day, with no extra-base hits.