CHICAGO – Zach Duke continued the brilliant start to his career by outpitching Greg Maddux for eight innings, leading the Pittsburgh Pirates over the Chicago Cubs 3-0 Saturday.

Duke (2-0), making his third career start, continued his dominance against big leaguers. He allowed six hits, struck out four, and extended his scoreless innings streak to 17. The 22-year-old left-hander lowered his ERA to 1.23.

Jason Bay ended an 0-for-18 slump with a homer as the Pirates snapped the Cubs’ five-game winning streak. Jose Mesa pitched the ninth for his 22nd save in 25 chances.

Duke, who induced four double plays, started the season at Triple-A Indianapolis but was promoted after going 12-3. He was the Pirates’ minor league pitcher of the year in 2004, when he had a 1.46 ERA for Double-A Altoona and Class A Lynchburg.

Maddux (8-7) was nearly as sharp, allowing five hits in eight innings. But the Pirates scored twice against the 313-game winner in the first two innings to snap their three-game losing streak.

Bay hit a solo homer to left-center in the first inning, his 17th of the season. Humberto Cota and Jack Wilson hit back-to-back singles in the second, and Cota scored on Duke’s sacrifice fly for a 2-0 lead.

Maddux retired 13 in a row between the second and the sixth. He allowed two earned runs and struck out six, leaving him six away from 3,000 in his career.

Duke pitched out of jams in the fifth and sixth innings. With one out and runners on first and third in the fifth, Duke struck out Henry Blanco and got Maddux to ground out.

Jerry Hairston and Todd Walker hit back-to-back singles in the sixth, but Duke came back and struck out Derrek Lee on a curveball and got Aramis Ramirez to hit into a double play.

Lee and Ramirez went 0-for-6 against Duke.

The Pirates scored their final run in the seventh. After a two-out walk to Jack Wilson, second baseman Walker booted Duke’s grounder. Matt Lawton followed with a double to make it 3-0.

Notes: Cubs catcher Michael Barrett was out of the starting lineup with a sore left hip. He is day to day. … Pirates OF Craig Wilson was hit by a pitch on his left hand in the first inning and left the game with a contusion in the second inning.

AP-ES-07-16-05 1854EDT

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