Cubs show off what they learned in DC

PITTSBURGH – The Chicago Cubs had a response for the beating they took this week against the Washington Nationals: They delivered their own smack down of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The Cubs showed they are a quick study, rebounding from three games against the Nationals when they weren’t even competitive to hang a 12-2 victory on the Pirates.

In the process, a third-inning single from Starlin Castro made him the 28th player in major league history to record 500 hits before age 23, while Alfonso Soriano reached the 91 RBI mark, the most he has collected in one season with the Cubs.

“It’s nice to come back and have the offense step up with the starting pitching,” Soriano said. “It’s good that we had that win today because the way we played in Washington, that was not the way a team plays in the big leagues. We changed, we came back, played strong and had a good game.”

It didn’t hurt that the Pirates made seven errors to help the Cubs’ cause. But the Cubs also added 12 hits.

“It was nice to come in here against one of the better teams in the National League and put it on them pretty good,” Sveum said. “It was nice for us and where we were just coming from in our mental state it’s huge for those guys in the clubhouse to have a game like that.”

While part of Brett Jackson’s motivation for making a dangerous catch while slamming into the center-field fence was a catch he missed earlier, he was also determined to help the team have some success.

“Obviously they made some defensive blunders but we took advantage of them,” Jackson said. “We talk about that as a team to take advantage of those mistakes and come up with big hits. I think everyone did tonight. I was disappointed I couldn’t be a part of the offense.”