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updated: 9/7/2012 10:03 PM

Cubs take advantage of 7 errors, beat Pirates 12-2

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  • Brett Jackson  scores as Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Rod Barajas loses the ball on the throw from first baseman Gaby Sanchez in the sixth inning Friday.

      Brett Jackson scores as Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Rod Barajas loses the ball on the throw from first baseman Gaby Sanchez in the sixth inning Friday.
    Associated Press

 
Associated Press

PITTSBURGH -- Travis Wood gave up just one hit over six innings and the Cubs stopped a six-game losing streak Friday night with a 12-2 win over the mistake-prone Pittsburgh Pirates, who made seven errors in their worst defensive night in over a quarter-century.

Wood (5-12) ended an eight-game skid of his own, striking out five and walking three to win for the first time in more than two months.

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Starlin Castro had three hits, including the 500th of his career, and drove in four runs for the Cubs. Alfonso Soriano added three hits and three RBI as Chicago took full advantage of one of the worst defensive nights in Pittsburgh's 130-year history.

The Pirates had not made seven errors in a game since 1985 and finished one shy of the club record set in 1939. It was the first seven-error game in the majors since Atlanta in a 2004 loss to Colorado.

A.J. Burnett (15-6) struggled against one of baseball's worst batting orders, though having his teammates give the Cubs extra out after extra out certainly didn't help. Burnett allowed seven runs -- three earned -- and eight hits in five innings. He struck out four and walked one.

On a night the Pirates seemed to be far from a postseason contender, Pittsburgh's problems started early and never stopped. The Cubs used an error by rookie second baseman Brock Holt to take a 1-0 lead in the first before things really got out of hand a couple innings later.

Chicago made it 4-0 in the third with plenty of help from left fielder Starling Marte. The rookie, activated from the disabled list earlier in the day, mishandled a single by Soriano with one on and two outs. The ball caromed off his glove away from him and in his haste to recover, Marte fired wildly in the vicinity of third base. The ball sailed all the way to the backstop, allowing Anthony Rizzo and Soriano to move into scoring position. Moments later Marte was in trouble again when he booted a sharply hit ball by Castro.

Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle tried to give his team some life, getting ejected for the fourth time this season for arguing a close play at third base in which umpire Gary Darling ruled Chicago's Brett Jackson beat Josh Harrison's throw on a fielders' choice.

The Pirates responded by allowing three more runs thanks in part to throwing errors by first baseman Gaby Sanchez and catcher Rod Barajas. Two more errors in the seventh helped the Cubs push the lead to 12-0.

At one point a fan in an exasperated PNC Park crowd started yelling "error! error!" at the official scorer on a cleanly hit single by Chicago's Tony Campana in the eighth.

Instead of history, the Pirates finished with only seven errors, the most since an 8-4 loss to St. Louis on Sept. 16, 1985.

Wood, who hadn't won since beating the Mets on July 6, didn't let the good fortune go to waste. He retired 14 of the first 15 batters he faced and didn't give up a hit until the fifth when Pedro Alvarez's flyball to center glanced off Jackson's glove as the outfielder smacked into the wall.

NOTES: Castro became the 28th player in major league history to reach 500 hits before his 23rd birthday. The previous player to do it was Alex Rodriguez ... Jackson left after sixth inning with a bruised knee sustained when he crashed into the fence while running down a flyball by Pittsburgh's Andrew McCutchen. Jackson laid on the ground for several minutes before slowly walking off the field ... The series continues on Saturday. Chicago's Jeff Samardzija (8-13, 3.91 ERA) will make his final start of the season for the Cubs against Pittsburgh's James McDonald (12-7, 3.90).

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