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Pirates Vs. Cubs Recap: Bucs Blasted 14-4 In Series Opener

The Pittsburgh Pirates dropped their series opener in Chicago on Monday night as Erik Bedard was roughed up in a 14-4 loss. Bedard struck out seven Cubs in 4.1 innings of work, but he also coughed up eight earned runs as Chicago pounced in a huge nine-run fifth inning. Reed Johnson led off the inning by reaching on an error by third baseman Pedro Alvarez. Two batters later, Anthony Rizzo stepped into the box an crushed a three-run homer to center that busted it open to 7-2. Bedard would finally exit with runners on first and second, giving way to Chris Resop.

The Pittsburgh reliever didn't exactly pick up his starter, allowing back-to-back singles to score two more -- runs credited to Bedard. The explosive inning would be capped with a Starlin Castro two-run homer off Resop, a blast that cleared the centerfield wall in his second at-bat of the inning. When it was all said and done, the Cubs walked away with a 13-2 lead.

While all doubt was removed after the fifth, there were some highlights on the offensive side for the Bucs. Starling Marte went three for four from the leadoff spot, including an RBI single in the third that evened things up at 1-1. In addition to Marte's solid night at the dish, Matt McKenry drove in two of the Bucs' four runs -- the second a bases-loaded single up the middle to score Garrett Jones.

A.J. Burnett will try to get it back for Pittsburgh on Tuesday. He's scheduled to face Ryan Dempster for now.

For more on the Pirates, visit Bucs Dugout. For more Cubs coverage, checkout Bleed Cubbie Blue. Follow news from around MLB and all of trade deadline action at Baseball Nation.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.