Hailing from nearby Butler, Clement (2-1) yielded one run and two hits, walked three and reached double-digits in strikeouts for the eighth time in his career.
"After the third inning, I got into a pretty good grove," Clement said. "Damian (Miller) called a great game. The guys played great behind me. It's nice to string some wins together. The last two games I felt better late in the game. I wanted to pitch as long as they would leave me out there. I kind of got into a grove."
The 28-year-old righthander felt right at home at PNC Park.
"I like to pitch in this park," Clement said. "I had trouble at Three Rivers Stadium but now when I come down I-279 (the highway he takes from Butler to Pittsburgh) I look forward to coming here."
Hee Seop Choi
's two-run double highlighted a four-run first inning for the Cubs, who extended their winning streak to a season-high four games. It is Chicago's longest winning streak since July 12-15, 2002.
The Cubs, who have 44 runs and 51 hits over the last four games, improved to 11-6 under new manager
. Chicago needed 29 contests to reach that win total in 2002, when they finished 67-95.
(2-2) gave up four runs and seven hits in seven innings and fell to 2-6 lifetime against Chicago.
, who entered the game hitting .152, drove in one of Pittsburgh's two runs with an RBI single in the second inning.
"Clement has the best slider in the big leagues for a righthander, I think," Wilson said. "His slider has always given us trouble. He was throwing it 3-2 tonight. He kept us off balance all night."
"You have to have meetings after you lose two or three series in a row," Wilson said. "We're just trying to stay positive."
did not play after he suffered a stiff neck in a minor car accident following Thursday's game.
The Cubs jumped all over Benson in the first.
led off with a single, reached third on a botched pickoff attempt by Benson and scored on Gonzalez's bloop single to right field.
followed with a single and
walked. Choi delivered a double off the right field wall to give Chicago a 3-0 lead. Alou scored on
's sacrifice fly.
"Four runs before you even take the field is good, especially against a guy like Benson," Clement said. "You know that's not going to happen that often. We have been able to put up runs early and that helps."
Benson began the game with an ERA of 0.83, the best of any National League pitcher with at least three starts.
"It wasn't the way I wanted to start off the game, especially with us needing a win," he said. "I put us in a hole there. I just couldn't squeak it out. I'm going to have some first innings like that. I was just hoping it wouldn't happen on a day like this."
According to Baker, the quick start was just part of the game plan.
"That's part of our job as a coaching staff - to stress making sure everybody is ready when they leave the clubhouse," he said. "Get on top at the start of the game, that helps. It's great when your leadoff hitter is getting on, the second hitter is picking him up and Sammy is doing his thing.
"You know that young Benson was really hard on us after that first inning. He shut us down. The Choi at-bat put us ahead and we were able to do what a team does that gets an early lead. Teams that score first win 70-75 percent of the time. That's us right now."
Chicago added three runs in the ninth as Grudzielanek drove in a run with a double, Gonzalez contributed an RBI single and Grudzielanek scored on Sosa's groundout for a 7-1 advantage.