Home Pittsburgh Sports College Football Soriano, Jackson lead Cubs over Pirates 4-1

Soriano, Jackson lead Cubs over Pirates 4-1

Pedro Alvarez’s solo homer was the Pirates only run as the Cubs’ Alfonso Soriano hit a pair of two-run shots to lead Chicago over the Bucs 4-1.

Looking to extend their longest winning streak on the road since 2002, the Pittsburgh Pirates were unable to muster any offense against Chicago Cubs starter Edwin Jackson and three relievers, who combined on a five-hitter Saturday.

One Pirate who was able to figure something out against Jackson was third baseman Pedro Alvarez.

Alvarez, who continues to swing a hot bat, hit his 22nd home run of the season to give the Pirates a 1-0 lead in the top of the fourth inning.

After that, though, the Pirates could not get anything going.

As the Pirates struggled at the plate, the pressure to hold a 1-0 lead got to Pirates starter, Charlie Morton, who gave up two two-run homeruns to Cubs outfielder Alfonso Soriano.

Soriano, who finished 2-for-4 on the day, hit his home runs in the fifth and sixth innings to give the Cubs a 4-1 lead.

“Two pitches that I wish I could have back,” Morton said in a postgame interview with ROOT Sports. “If I could have kept the ball in the yard, I could have given us a chance to win. It’s unfortunate.

“He [Soriano] has been in the league a long time. He’s a good player that you can’t make mistakes like that to.”

For the Cubs, Anthony Rizzo went 1-for-4 with a double in the fifth inning. Luis Valbuena went 2-for-3 with a walk and Wellington Castillo finished 2-for-2 with a walk.

Jackson, who had a rough start to the season, has come on strong as of late, especially against the Pirates. He had the Pirates off balance for 5 2/3 innings, allowing just four hits while striking out three and walking two.

James Russell, Matt Guerrier and Kelly Gregg finished off the game, allowing just one hit combined.

For the Pirates, Starling Marte went 2-for-4 with two stolen bases and Andrew McCutchen also finished 2-for-4.

Morton went six innings, allowing four runs on seven hits while striking out six and walking three.

Justin Wilson and Bryan Morris pitched a perfect inning each in relief.

The Pirates will look to finish off their short three-game road trip with a win, Sunday,  A.J. Burnett (4-6, 3.12 ERA) returns to the Pirates’ rotation after missing the past month with a strained right calf, and Carlos Villanueva (2-4, 3.45) starts for the Cubs.

Neil Walker left the game with discomfort in his side and is listed as day-to-day. Brandon Inge came on as a replacement…For the first time since 1981, four Pittsburgh Pirates will represent the team in the All-Star Game. Pitchers Jason Grilli and Jeff Locke, along with third baseman Pedro Alvarez and outfielder Andrew McCutchen were selected as reserves for the All-Star Game, July 16.

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