almost was given the night off. Unfortunately for the reeling
, he played.
Sanchez had Pittsburgh's first six-hit game in 19 years, scored four runs and drove in three Monday, leading the Pirates to
a 10-8 victory and sending Chicago to its eighth straight loss.
''At the last minute when I was making out the lineup, I decided to put him in,'' Pirates manager
said. ''I guess it was smart of me.''
And painful for the Cubs.
Despite scoring three more runs than they did on the entire winless six-game road trip that ended Sunday, they fell to 21-22
and were booed repeatedly by their fans.
The last time the Cubs dropped eight straight was 2006, when they went on to finish 66-96, costing manager
and team president Andy MacPhail their jobs.
''It's good to see the team swinging the bats and I hope that continues,'' Cubs manager
said. ''We've just got to start winning a few games, that's it.''
Sanchez hit a two-run homer, doubled and singled four times for the second six-hit game in the majors this season and the
first by a Pirate since
did it in 1990.
had a six-hit effort for Texas on April 15 against Baltimore.
''Six hits ... that's good for a series worth,'' said
, who hit the go-ahead homer - with Sanchez on base - in the sixth inning.
Sanchez has snapped out of a 5-for-36 slump by getting nine hits in his last 15 at-bats.
''I was striking out too much before,'' he said. ''I shortened my swing and put the ball in play. It's tough to get hits in
this game. I just want to keep it going.''
One day after getting 16 hits at U.S. Cellular Field, Pittsburgh had a season-high 18 at Wrigley Field.
The Cubs won the NL Central the last two years, have a $135 million payroll and came into this season as prohibitive division
, who allowed six runs in four innings, said the players remain confident.
''We're not worried about the eight previous games; we're just worried about winning the next one,'' he said. ''Just do the
same thing we did tonight and get a little better job out of the starting pitcher. I let those guys down.''
(0-2) allowed McLouth's homer in the sixth, he gave up doubles to brothers Adam and
for a 9-7 lead. In the seventh,
tripled and scored on Sanchez's single to put the Pirates up by three.
The Cubs got a run back in the seventh off
(2-1) and had two on when
to end the threat. Piniella used Zambrano, a pitcher, as a pinch-hitter even though position players
After regular Pirates closer
was knocked out of the game in the ninth when struck in the right (pitching) elbow by
's line drive,
got the final two outs for his first career save. Capps was taken to a hospital for X-rays; results were not immediately available.
had a season-high four RBIs. A $30 million free agent acquisition who had been doing more complaining about umpires than hitting,
he went into Monday batting .188 with nine RBIs.
''Getting on umpires is not a good solution,'' Piniella said before the game. ''What we need Milton to do is ... (hit) the
ball the way he has in the past.''
Bradley responded with a two-run double in the third and a two-run homer in the fourth.
had three doubles for the Cubs. ... Pittsburgh starter
allowed seven runs in four innings. ... Cubs 1B
and utility infielder
were scratched from the lineup with the flu. Scales flied out as a pinch-hitter in the fourth but Lee was sent home before
the game. ... Cubs reliever
went to New York to be with his wife, who is scheduled to give birth to their second child on Tuesday. ...
had three hits and is batting .447 during a 10-game hitting streak. ...
, who started Sunday's game at San Diego for the Cubs, was ejected in Monday's fifth inning for complaining about ball-strike
calls from the dugout.