Chicago, IL (Sports Network) – Neil Walker finished 4-for-5 with a two-run homer and four RBI while Jose Tabata contributed three hits, two RBI and three runs scored, as the Pittsburgh Pirates scored early and often in a 14-7 drubbing of the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field.
Garrett Jones hit a two-run homer and ended with three RBI for the Pirates, who returned the favor one night after the Cubs won 14-2 in the series opener. Ronny Cedeno and Andrew McCutchen both delivered two RBI as Pittsburgh halted a four-game skid and also put the brakes on a 14-game road losing streak.
Jeff Karstens (3-10) earned the win after he allowed two runs on four hits over six innings with six strikeouts and no walks.
Koyie Hill went 3-for-4 with a two-run homer the Cubs, who have lost seven of their last nine home games. Alfonso Soriano and Starlin Castro both posted two hits, an RBI and a run scored in the loss.
Ryan Dempster (12-9) was charged with the loss and allowed seven runs on seven hits with three walks and four strikeouts in only three innings pitched.
The Pirates started their big offensive night early with four runs in the first inning. Tabata drew a one-out walk and moved to third on a single by Walker. Jones’ groundout brought home Tabata and a double by Pedro Alvarez scored Walker. After Ryan Doumit was hit by a pitch, a two-run double off the bat of Cedeno capped the rally.
Tabata’s RBI triple in the second frame made it 5-0.
Two more Pittsburgh runs in the top of the third continued the onslaught. Doumit led off with a base hit and Chris Snyder singled before Karstens bunted both runners ahead one base. McCutchen’s two-run single pushed the visitors’ cushion to seven.
A two-run homer by Jones in the fourth extended the lead further.
Chicago finally reached the scoreboard in the fifth when Soriano’s leadoff single preceded Hill’s home run.
The Pirates, though, responded immediately in the sixth when Walker belted his eighth home run of 2010, a two-run blast over the wall in center field.
An RBI single by Tabata and a two-run double by Walker in the seventh provided yet more runs for the visitors, who took a 14-2 lead.
Chicago capped the scoring with five runs in the home eighth. Included in the run-producing effort were RBI singles by Castro, Xavier Nady and Soriano.
Dempster has dropped all three of his starts against the Bucs this season…The Pirates outhit the Cubs, 15-10…Pittsburgh was 6-for-13 with runners in scoring position…It was Jones’ 20th home run of 2010.