PITTSBURGH – Ted Lilly pitched neatly into the eighth inning, Alfonso Soriano got three hits and the Chicago Cubs won for the 12th time in 15 games, beating the Pittsburgh Pirates 7-1 Saturday night.
Despite going their eighth straight game without hitting a home run – their longest such drought since 1999 – the Cubs scored plenty. Chicago finished with 14 hits, all in the first six innings.
Ronny Paulino had three hits for the Pirates, who had a four-game winning streak snapped.
Ryan Theriot had three hits for the Cubs. Every Chicago starter except Koyie Hill and Lilly were on base at least twice.
Lilly (8-4) won his fourth decision in a row. He gave up one run and eight hits, striking out six and walking one.
The Cubs started quickly against John Van Benschoten (0-3), with four of the first five batters getting hits. Derrek Lee and Daryle Ward had RBI singles for a 2-0 lead.
Chicago made it 5-0 in the third. Following a pair of walks, Mark DeRosa singled off shortstop Jack Wilson’s glove to drive in Lee. After Jacques Jones walked, Hill hit a sacrifice fly and Lilly hit an RBI single.
The rout was on when Soriano and Theriot hit RBI singles in the fifth off John Wasdin. Soriano scored twice.
Aramis Ramirez added two hits for the Cubs. He scored once and drove in a run.
The Pirates’ run came in the seventh when Wilson doubled home Ryan Doumit.
Van Benschoten allowed seven hits and three walks in 2 2-3 innings.
Notes: Pirates 1B Adam LaRoche was scratched an hour before the game due to what was described as left knee irritation. … Chicago’s first nine hits were singles. When Jones hit a double in the fifth, it extended the Cubs’ streak of at least one in each of the past 14 games, tying a season-high.