PITTSBURGH (KDKA/AP)) — The latest sellout crowd at PNC Park got to see another pretty entertaining affair, including a Skyblast night and the announcement of outfielder Andrew McCutchen being named to the National League All-Star Team, but in the end the Pirates just couldn’t beat the Chicago Cubs.
Starter Kevin Correia was looking for his 12th win of the season but just didn’t have it Saturday as the Bucs lost 6-3.
Correia didn’t give the Pirates much of a chance on a night he could have tied Atlanta’s Jair Jurrjens and the Yankees’ CC Sabathia for the majors’ lead in victories with 12.
Correia (11-7) labored through his shortest start of the season. He allowed five runs on nine hits in 3 2-3 innings.
Chicago scored during each of the four innings Correia pitched. The Cubs took a 2-0 lead in the first on an RBI single by Marlon Byrd and a wild pitch by Correia that scored Castro. Kosuke Fukudome, Alfonso Soriano and Castro had RBI singles the following three innings.
Fukudome had two hits and two runs, Pena had two hits, a run and an RBI and Darwin Barney went 2 for 4 with two runs for the Cubs.
Pirates rookies Alex Presley and Mike McKenry each had two hits and scored a run.
Presley scored on Neil Walker’s groundout in the bottom of the third, and Matt Diaz hit a ground-rule double down the right-field line that scored Garrett Jones and McKenry in the fourth.
For the Cubs, Ryan Dempster won for the first time in five starts despite arguing with manager Mike Quade when he was lifted after five innings.
Dempster (6-6) was pitching on nine days’ rest after being scratched from his scheduled start Monday because of back pain. He was cleared to start Saturday after making it through a pregame workout Friday without incident.
He allowed three runs on seven hits and three walks in five innings and was seen throwing equipment and arguing vehemently with Quade when he was pinch-hit for to lead off the sixth.
Dempster said he was most upset about the fact that the already-depleted bullpen was to be taxed further because of the fact he didn’t go deeper into the game.
Jeff Samardzija, Kerry Wood and Carlos Marmol combined to throw four scoreless innings to close out the Cubs’ victory, their second in their past eight at PNC Park. A night after blowing his sixth save, Marmol pitched the ninth for his 19th save of the season.
Starlin Castro went 3 for 5 with a run and an RBI for the Cubs.
Diaz entered the game in the fourth and had two doubles and two RBIs for the Pirates, which came in with a chance to climb into first place.
Pittsburgh, which had won four of its previous five, needed a win and a loss by the Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday to move into a tie for the National League Central lead.
The Pirates and Cubs finish out their three-game series Sunday at 1:35 p.m.