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Pirates beat Cubs 3-0

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If only every trade with the Yankees worked out this well.

Right-hander Ross Ohlendorf tossed seven scoreless innings and struck out a career-high eight as the Pirates nipped the Cubs, 3-0, on Tuesday night at PNC Park.

On a day dominated by news of the trades of outfielders Nyjer Morgan and Eric Hinske and relief pitcher Sean Burnett, Olhendorf, acquired as part of last year’s Xavier Nady deal with the Yankees, enjoyed the best start of his burgeoning major-league career.

The 26-year-old Ohlendorf (7-6) allowed four hits and no walks, and didn’t allow a runner past second base. It was Ohlendorf’s fourth quality start in his past five games.

The victory gives the Pirates their first winning June (14-13) since 1996.

Freddy Sanchez, batting second in the lineup for the departed Morgan, went 3 for 3, his NL-leading 31st multi-hit game of the season. He drove in two, scored a run and stole a base. Brandon Moss, who started in left field, went 2 for 4.

John Grabow pitched a scoreless eighth and Matt Capps worked the ninth inning for his 18th save, including 12th in as many chances.

Cubs starter Ted Lilly (7-6), who had never lost to the Pirates in nine career starts, allowed three runs — two earned — on eight hits in seven innings.

Ohlendorf, who had never struck out more than five batters in any of his 20 career starts, fanned at least one batter in every inning but the first. When Geovany Soto hit a one-out double in the fifth, the 6-foot-4, 235-pound Texan struck out Mike Fontenot on three pitches and then got Ryan Theriot looking at a third strike.

The Cubs put runners on second and third with no out in the eighth against Grabow, but the left-hander struck out Alfonso Soriano and Kosuke Fukudome, and got Derrek Lee to ground out to second.

The Pirates took advantage of a Cubs error to take a 1-0 lead in the fourth. With Freddy Sanchez on second and Andy LaRoche on first, Lilly struck out Brandon Moss. But the third strike was a wild pitch. As Sanchez tried to score from second, catcher Soto’s throw got past Lilly for an error as Sanchez slid home.

A two-out single by Sanchez in the fifth inning scored Wilson for a 2-0 lead. Doubles by pinch-hitter Steve Pearce and Sanchez in the seventh inning made it 3-0.

– By John Grupp

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