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Cubs Send Gorzelanny In Zambrano's Rotation Spot To Face Pirates

(Sports Network) - A pair of struggling teams meet in the rubber match of a three-game set at Wrigley Field this afternoon as the Chicago Cubs host the lowly Pittsburgh Pirates.

After dropping the opener of the series, the Cubs bounced back on Tuesday when Ted Lilly threw seven strong innings and Alfonso Soriano hit two home runs to lead Chicago over the Pirates, 3-1.

Lilly gave up the one run on six hits and a walk, and struck out five for the Cubs. While the win was just the third of the season for Lilly, the left- hander has pitched well and lowered his earned run average to 3.12.

"I felt pretty good for the most part," Lilly said. "I was able to make some key pitches."

Soriano homered twice off Pirates starter Jeff Karstens (2-3), who gave up three runs -- two earned -- seven hits and a walk in six innings.

Ryan Doumit homered off Lilly to provide the lone run for Pittsburgh, which has lost 18 of its last 19 road games and seven of eight overall. The Pirates had snapped an ugly 17-game skid as the visitor on Monday but their road woes returned just a day later. Pittsburgh is a miserable 10-32 as the visitor on the year.

"It was a well-pitched game on both sides," Pirates manager John Russell said. "Pretty solid defense on both ends, but we couldn't quite get that hit."

Tom Gorzelanny (2-5, 3.41 ERA) will head to the hill today for the Cubs, who will be attempting to win their first series since taking two of three from Oakland from June 15-17. It will be Gorzelanny's first start since May 26. The lefty is replacing Carlos Zambrano, who is on the restricted list while seeking treatment for anger issues.

Gorzelanny. a former Pirate, is 2-5 with a respectable 3.66 ERA in nine starts this season. He allowed five runs in five innings but picked up a no-decision in a 10-6 Cubs setback to Pittsburgh back on May 14.

"It's easier being a starter because I know what my day consists of and I know what I have to do that day," Gorzelanny told the Cubs' website.

The Pirates will counter with rookie right-hander Brad Lincoln (0-2, 6.00), who is still looking for his first career victory. Lincoln allowed five runs in six innings during a 14-4 loss at Oakland last Friday in his last outing.

Like most rookies, Lincoln, who has never faced the Cubs, has struggled with his command.

"It's something I have to take on myself," Lincoln told the Pirates' website. "To stop teams -- to not let them score. It's something I'm not getting done right now."

Pittsburgh has the NL's worst record but is 8-3 against the Cubs this season and have won three of five at Wrigley.