06/27/10 12:47 PM ET
Cubs seek answers to nemesis Pirates
By Matt Fortuna / MLB.com
After stopping the White Sox winning streak at 11 games with an 8-6 win, the Cubs will host the Pirates, losers of six in a row.
They'll try to keep the Pirates reeling with one of their all-time greats in attendance, as Ron Santo will be honored as part of the 50th anniversary of his debut with the Cubs.
Saturday officially marked 50 years since Santo's debut, and the former third baseman and current broadcaster will toss the ceremonial first pitch as part of the celebration.
Randy Wells will take the hill from there, looking for his first win since April 30. Wells has given up 20 earned runs over 61 1/3 innings in May and June. He is 0-1 in two starts against the Pirates, who touched him up for six runs on five hits in two innings May 6.
Wells will face Pirates ace Paul Maholm, who is coming off the worst outing of his career. Maholm lasted just one inning, facing 15 batters, giving up seven hits and walking four. He had not allowed more than four runs in any of his previous 14 starts on the season.
Maholm, a left-hander, is 6-1 with a 6.29 ERA in 11 career starts against the Cubs. The Pirates on the season are 7-2 against the Cubs. The clubs are sixth and fourth, respectively, in the National League Central.
"We've got three months to play here, it's not like we have two weeks," Cubs manager Lou Piniella said. "It can turn into a very long summer if we don't turn our fortunes around. That's what the players want, that's what I want.
"There's no quit here. We just have to go out there and get some big key hits and gain some confidence. We can do it with consistency and we'll start winning some games. We're in most of the games we play. We don't blow people out and we don't get blown out very often."
Pirates: Jaramillo hopes to recover
Jason Jaramillo had a rough two innings Sunday in Oakland. First, he dropped a foul popup by Kurt Suzuki with two outs in the bottom of the eighth. Given new life, Suzuki then hit a solo home run that proved to be the difference in a 3-2 game. Jaramillo then grounded into a double play in the top of the ninth. ... Lastings Milledge hit his first home run of the season Sunday. His last home run was Oct. 2, 2009.
Cubs: Lee starts at DH twice
Derrek Lee started as a designated hitter Sunday against the White Sox because of back stiffness. It marked the second straight game he was at DH, though he said it was a non-issue. He hit a two-run double in the win. ... The Cubs lead the Major Leagues in one-run games with 28. They are 11-17 in those games.
Pittsburgh's game in Oakland on Sunday ended on a rare occurrence, as Jose Tabata's grounder to the right side hit Pedro Alvarez, who was running from first, for the final out of the game.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.