Rapid Reaction: Cubs 4, Pirates 1

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Cubs evened the weekend series with a 4-1 win over the NL Central-leading Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday afternoon at Wrigley Field.

How it happened: Alfonso Soriano hit two-run home runs in consecutive innings after Pedro Alvarez hit a solo shot to open the scoring. Soriano’s first blast off starter Charlie Morton came in the fourth inning after Anthony Rizzo doubled to open the inning. Then in the fifth he brought home Julio Borbon with two outs.

Edwin Jackson wasn’t pretty on the mound for the Cubs, battling through 5⅔ innings, but he got the job done, allowing only Alvarez to cross the plate. James Russell, Matt Guerrier and Kevin Gregg shut down the Pirates the rest of the way.

What it means: Jackson is slowly turning his season around, but the more important development might be Soriano’s timing. He has 12 home runs on the season as trade traffic is starting to pick up. After performing well on the road in a designated hitter stint recently, Soriano picked up where he left off, making himself -- and the money he’s due this season and next -- a little more attractive.

Outside the box: During the game, it was announced Travis Wood would represent the Cubs in this month’s All-Star Game in New York. It’s his first selection. … Before the game, manager Dale Sveum said outfielder Brian Bogusevic was close to returning from a hamstring problem.

What’s next: The rubber game of the series takes place on Sunday featuring Carlos Villanueva (2-4, 3.45 ERA) taking on A.J. Burnett (4-6, 3.12 ERA) in a battle of righties.