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Maholm Wins 5th Straight, Cubs Beat Pirates 5-1

Chicago Cubs starter Paul Maholm pitches against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the game on July 24, 2012 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

Chicago Cubs starter Paul Maholm pitches against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the game on July 24, 2012 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

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PITTSBURGH (AP) – Paul Maholm pitched eight strong innings Tuesday night to win his fifth straight start and lead the Chicago Cubs over the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-1.

Moments after the final out, the contending Pirates announced they had acquired pitcher Wandy Rodriguez in a trade with Houston.

Maholm gave up one run and four hits in handing the Pittsburgh its first back-to-back home losses since May 22-23. He struck out seven and walked one.

Maholm has allowed just four earned runs in 38 1-3 innings during his winning streak for an 0.94 ERA in that span. The left-hander spent his first seven seasons with the Pirates before signing with the Cubs as a free agent last winter.

Starlin Castro and Alfonso Soriano each homered off James McDonald (10-4), who had his career-high five games winning streak snapped. David DeJesus hit a tiebreaking two-run double for Chicago, which had totaled just three runs in its previous four games.

DeJesus doubled to left in the fifth inning to put the Cubs ahead 3-1, the hit coming after Maholm drew a two-out walk to load the bases. Geovany Soto and Luis Valbuena, who had both also walked, scored on the double.

Castro hit his ninth homer with one out in the first inning to open the scoring.

Pittsburgh’s Garrett Jones answered with a solo shot in the fourth, his 14th of the season and first off a lefty since last Aug. 16 when he hit a game-ending homer off St. Louis’ Arthur Rhodes.

Soriano’s two-run homer in the fifth, his 19th, pushed the Cubs’ lead to 5-1.

Chicago closer Carlos Marmol pitched a scoreless ninth in a non-save situation, working around a leadoff double by Neil Walker and a walk to Andrew McCutchen.

The Pirates had provided McDonald with 44 runs of support in six starts during his winning streak.

NOTES: Chicago RHP Ryan Dempster (5-4, 2.11 ERA), the subject of numerous trade rumors in recent weeks, is scheduled to start Wednesday against Pittsburgh RHP Kevin Correia in the finale of the three-game series. There have been multiple reports that Atlanta and the Los Angeles Dodgers have both agreed with the Cubs on trades for Dempster, who has the right to veto any deal because he has at least 10 years of major-league service time, including five with his current team. Dempster leads the major leagues in ERA. … Chicago RHP Matt Garza (strained right triceps) will not make his scheduled start Friday against the Cardinals and will be reevaluated that day. He was removed from his previous start last Saturday at St. Louis after pitching three scoreless innings. The Cubs are optimistic Garza will not need to be placed on the disabled list. … Correia will be looking to extend his five-game winning streak, the best of his career. Correia is 6-1 in his last 10 starts since losing five straight starts from April 29-May 20.