Duke blanks Cubs


CHICAGO – Zach Duke baffled the Cubs again, allowing five hits and pitching his first major league shutout and complete game in the Pittsburgh Pirates’ 8-0 win over Chicago.

Jeromy Burnitz homered against his former team and Freddy Sanchez had three hits and three RBIs after being moved to the third spot in the batting order as the Pirates earned a split in the two-game series at Wrigley Field.

Duke (2-2) is now 4-0 in his career against the Cubs, including 2-0 this season. He also was 2-0 against Chicago a year ago as a rookie, beating Greg Maddux twice at Wrigley Field. In 32 career innings against the Cubs, he’s given up just two earned runs.

The 23-year-old left-hander walked one, struck out two and was backed by a pair of double plays.

Burnitz batted .258 with 24 homers and 87 RBIs last season – his only one with the Cubs – but the team decided not to pick up his $7 million option and instead signed Jacque Jones to play right field.

Burnitz gave the Pirates a 4-0 lead when he hit a two-run homer in the third off Chicago rookie Angel Guzman (0-1), who struggled with his control in his second major league start. Guzman went 5 2-3 innings, allowing six hits and six runs – four earned.

Guzman had a rookie’s nightmare in the first inning: two walks, a hit batsman, a stolen base and a wild pitch that helped the Pirates take a 2-0 lead – just the fourth time all season Pittsburgh has scored in the opening inning.

Guzman plunked leadoff hitter Chris Duffy, who stole second and scored on a double by Sanchez, who entered the game with five RBIs. Jason Bay walked and after a fielder’s choice put runners at first and third, Guzman threw a wild pitch to allow Sanchez to score.

The Pirates made it 6-0 with four in the sixth. Ronny Paulino and Jose Castillo singled and after a sacrifice, the first run scored when Chicago reliever Roberto Novoa fumbled Duffy’s slow roller for an error. Jack Wilson then followed with an RBI single and stole second before Sanchez delivered a two-run single, prompting loud booing.

Notes: The Pirates broke a seven-game road losing streak. Pittsburgh is 2-13 overall away from PNC Park. … The Cubs continue to struggle offensively after losing Derek Lee with two broken bones in his wrist. Lee went on the disabled list on April 21. In the 10 games before Tuesday with Lee sidelined, the Cubs were batting just .218. Manager Dusty Baker said before the game that general manager Jim Hendry is looking for ways to add more offense.

AP-ES-05-02-06 1649EDT