Cubs

Cubs Clobber Pirates 11-6 In Ramirez’s Return

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Aramis Ramirez #16 of the Chicago Cubs hits a broken bat RBI single against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the game on August 2, 2011 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Aramis Ramirez #16 of the Chicago Cubs hits a broken bat RBI single against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the game on August 2, 2011 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

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PITTSBURGH (AP) – Alfonso Soriano hit two of the Cubs’ season-high six home runs and the Cubs had a season-best 23 hits in an 11-6 victory over the fading Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday night.

Soriano hit solo shots in the third inning off Kevin Correia (12-9) and the fourth off Anthony Watson. Aramis Ramirez hit a three-run homer, Geovany Soto had a two-run blast and Marlon Byrd and Tyler Colvin also connected.

Colvin’s homer cleared the right-field stands and bounced into the Allegheny River.

The home run barrage sent the Pirates to their fifth straight loss and 10th in 13 games. Pittsburgh fell back to .500 at 54-54. The franchise has had a record 18 consecutive losing seasons.

Ramirez, who snapped an 0-for-20 slump, drove in four runs while Starlin Castro, Darwin Barney and Colvin had three hits each. Ramirez, Byrd, Soto, Soriano and winning pitcher Randy Wells (3-4) each had two hits.

Wells went six innings, allowing two runs and five hits while walking one and striking out seven. Wells had compiled a 7.88 ERA in his other five road starts this season.

Correia was hammered for four home runs in two-plus innings. He gave up eight runs and 10 hits with two walks and four strikeouts.

Correia fell to 2-7 at home while failing in his bid for a career-high 13th victory.

Garrett Jones had three hits, including two home runs, and four RBIs, for Pittsburgh. Brandon Wood also connected and Neil Walker had two hits.

The Cubs won their third straight game, just the second time all season they have won that many games in a row.

Castro, Barney and Ramirez hit consecutive singles to start the game and give Chicago a 1-0 lead. Jones answered with a two-run homer to right field in the bottom of the first to put Pittsburgh ahead 2-1.

The Cubs then broke the game open with four runs in the second, three in the third and two in the fourth to move in front 10-2.

Colvin’s solo homer in the second tied it and Ramirez then put Chicago ahead with a three-run shot to the shrubbery beyond the center-field fence. Soto’s two-run homer and Soriano’s first homer chased Correia in the third. In the fourth, Byrd and Soriano connected off Tony Watson.

Castro hit an RBI single in the seventh to push the Cubs’ lead to 11-2.

Pittsburgh scored three times in the eighth off Ramon Ortiz as Jones hit a solo homer and Wood had a two-run blast, the Pirates’ first pinch-hit home runs of the season.

NOTES: The six home runs tied the record for most hit by one team in a game at 11-year-old PNC Park. San Francisco set the mark on Aug. 4, 2002. The two-homer game was the 28th of Soriano’s career. Struggling RHP Charlie Morton (8-6, 4.04 ERA) will start for Pittsburgh on Wednesday night against RHP Matt Garza (4-8, 3.99) in the third game of the four-game series. Morton is 2-4 with a 7.18 ERA in his last eight starts. Garza has struggled on the road, going 1-5 with a 5.96 ERA in nine starts, compared to his 3-3 record and 2.70 ERA in 11 home starts.

(TM and © Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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