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Pirates hold on for 4-3 victory over Cubs
By Mike Spellman | Daily Herald Staff

Cubs' Aramis Ramirez hits a two-run double against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the third inning.


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Published: 5/15/2010 5:27 PM | Updated: 5/15/2010 7:37 PM

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p class="factboxtext12col">Mike Spellman's game tracker

Pirates 4, Cubs 3

What the? With his run-scoring single in the first inning, Pittsburgh's Andrew McCutchen made it 6 consecutive hits and 10 in his last 12 at-bats against Cubs pitching. His streak ended in the third on a nice play by second baseman Ryan Theriot. He is 7-for-8 in the series against the Cubs and is hitting .785 against Cubs pitching this season.

Busy day: Starter Ryan Dempster threw 123 pitches in 7 innings, marking the most pitches he has thrown since totaling 124 on Sept. 19, 2002 at Pittsburgh, while with Cincinnati. It marked just the 16th start in his career he has tossed 123 or more pitches. He also walked a season-high five and struck out nine.

Castro rules: Courtesy of his fourth inning single, rookie shortstop Starlin Castro has reached base safely in each of his first eighth games.

- Mike Spellman

Welcome to another edition of "What are you going to do?" the show where Cubdom, from manager Lou Piniella on down to his players, tries to figure out what in the world is wrong with this team.

We'll start with Piniella, whose team dropped a 4-3 decision to the Pirates on Saturday, their fifth straight loss to Pittsburgh and their seventh consecutive dating back to last year. It was the Cubs' ninth loss in their last 11 games and dropped their record to 15-22.

"What are we going to do, I mean what are we going to do?" Piniella said to wrap up a 1 minute, 25 second postgame meeting with the media that surprisingly did not begin with "We're mired in a little bit of difficulty ... "

"We've tried a little bit of everything here," Piniella said. "We've tried a little bit of everything. "

That they have. Piniella has changed lineups this season more often than Beyonce changes outfits during a concert, but still that hasn't helped.

So why don't we go to some of our other contestants, starting with you, Ryan Dempster.

What are you going to do?

"You've just got to stay positive," said Dempster (2-4), who allowed 3 runs in the first inning before settling down and keeping his team in the game through seven innings. "As tough as times are ... you can harp on the negatives all you want. If we had the answers, we'd just implement them and fix it.

"I think the easiest answer is just to come to the park every day with a good approach and just do what you're capable of doing."

Next up, we'll turn to third baseman Aramis Ramirez, whose 2-run double in the third inning cut the Pirates' lead to 3-2 and gave the team some much needed life.

What are you going to do?

"You've got to keep your head up; you can do nothing about the past," Ramirez said. "Everybody is helping everybody (in here). We've got a lot of veterans and I'm pretty sure most of them have gone through tough times.

"Right now we're going through them, so keep your head up and come ready to play."

Finally we turn to veteran first baseman Derrek Lee.

What are you going to do?

"It's tough; no one likes losing," Lee said. "All you can try to do is try to stay positive, keep your head up, keep moving. It's going to turn for us."

How do you know?

"Because it is," said Lee, who doubled in the fifth inning. "There are some good players in here, guys who have had a lot of success.

"We're not that far away. We didn't play a terrible game today, so keep plugging."

And if that doesn't work?

What are you going to do?