Edwin Jackson picked up just his fifth win against 10 losses on Saturday afternoon, but the free agent addition to the Cubs starting rotation was overshadowed by the performance of Alfonso Soriano. The Cubs slugger a pair of two run homers in back to back innings to provide all of the runs that Jackson and the North Siders would need. Soriano’s first came in the fourth inning and landed 400 feet away in center, with Anthony Rizzo along for the ride. Then in the fifth frame, the Cubs left fielder hit another 400 foot blast to drive in himself and Julio Borbon, this time to the left field. That gives Soriano 12 home runs and 44 RBI on the season, as he heats up in time to help fuel trade rumors and speculation.
Jackson only gave up one run to the MLB leading Pirates, but that should not be interpreted as having had a dominant start. The right hander allowed a base runner in every inning he pitched, and Pedro Alvarez hit a solo shot in the top of the fourth to give the visitors a brief lead. E Jax got the first two outs in the sixth, but made way for James Russell after giving up a single and a walk, with Alvarez coming to the plate. Newly acquired reliever Matt Guerrier went two perfect innings, including a pair of strikeouts, to bridge the gap to Kevin Gregg. The spectacled closer took care of business to notch his 15th save of the season and maintain his trade value as well.
The loss was just the third in 14 games for the hot handed Pirates.