Gorzelanny, Wilson too much for Cubs
Starter allows one run and six hits in seven innings
PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates got a solid effort from lefty Tom Gorzelanny and downed the Chicago Cubs, 6-1, in front of 24,489 fans on Friday night at PNC Park.
"We did everything right tonight," Pirates manager Jim Tracy said. "We pitched great, we played terrific defensively, we did a tremendous job in the first inning of the game manufacturing a run."
Gorzelanny tossed seven innings and allowed one run on six hits, as he upped his record to 14-7.
"Our starting pitcher tonight was real good," Tracy stated. "We've seen performances like that from him this year. The one thing, the other hurdle that if he can get over it -- it's going to make him even better than he already is -- and that is the efficiency of his pitches. He threw close to 120 in the seven innings that he was out there. But it was a very solid performance and a nice bounce-back performance vs. the one last Sunday in Milwaukee."
Gorzelanny says he tried to be aggressive.
"I was trying to attack guys and make pitches," Gorzelanny offered. "I was just trying to get them to swing at things. Fortunately I was able to do that and some pitches were working. My sinker was working today, and in the right situation I made the right pitches."
"Gorzelanny pitched great," Bucs shortstop Jack Wilson said. "He was pounding the zone. We were able to give him some runs, but he was phenomenal tonight. Making all his spots -- whenever [catcher Ronny] Paulino moved in and out, he hit them right square in the mitt."
Gorzelanny also fielded a couple of hot shots up the middle.
"I was guarding myself well today," Gorzelanny joked. "I don't know if I would say fielding -- I was protecting myself."
Cubs lefty starter Rich Hill suffered the loss, falling to 8-8 on the campaign. He surrendered six runs on nine hits in six innings.
The Pirates jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. Speedy Nyjer Morgan legged out a double to short left field. Morgan advanced to third on a groundout and scored on a Freddy Sanchez sacrifice fly to right field.
"Our leadoff man hit a ball eighty feet and was on second base," Tracy gushed. "We haven't seen that too much. It's really nice to see a guy running like that because that puts a lot of pressure on the opposition."
An RBI single by Paulino and a run-scoring double by Wilson upped the lead to 3-0 in the bottom of the second inning.
Pittsburgh nicked Hill again in the third inning, as Adam LaRoche stroked an RBI double, staking the Pirates to a 4-0 advantage.
Wilson continued his torrid hitting, as he smacked a two-run homer in the bottom of the sixth inning, upping the lead to 6-0.
"Jack Wilson continues to swing the bat, and has swung the bat in the manner in which we're seeing it since the first of August," Tracy explained.
"It's nice," said Wilson. "It's almost the same as a really bad slump. I really don't know why it's happening or what's going on. ... I think I feed off Paulino and the way he's swinging the bat right now. He's in the seven hole and I'm in the eight hole and we're just trying to be the end-of-the-line one-two punch. It's been nice that we've both been able to contribute down at the bottom of the order."
The Cubs broke through against Gorzelanny in the top of the seventh. Geovany Soto doubled and scampered home on a two-out pinch-hit double by Ronny Cedeno, cutting the Pirates' lead to 6-1.
The Pirates got solid bullpen work from Shawn Chacon, Damaso Marte and Matt Capps to close it out.
The Pirates were coming off a 16-4 thumping by the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday, but bounced back well.
"We're the type of team that is not going to just fold over and fall down and die," Gorzelanny stated. "We get beat up, but we're going to stand tall and go back out there the next day. We all went out there with an attitude and played well."
George Von Benko is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.