PITTSBURGH (Ticker) -- Jeff D'Amico continues to own the
The righthander allowed two runs and seven hits in 7 1/3 innings as the Pittburgh Pirates posted a 5-2 victory over the Cubs, who have lost three in a row for the first time this season.
D'Amico (4-4), who did not walk a batter and struck out four, is 6-0 with a 1.43 in six lifetime starts against the Cubs. Overall, he is just 39-38.
"I have no idea why I've been successful against Chicago," D'Amico said. "Since I started, it's a different team, pretty much a whole new team since when I pitched for Milwaukee."
Chicago loaded the bases in the ninth inning as Pittsburgh second baseman
committed a pair of errors. But closer
escaped a bases-loaded, none-out jam, striking out
to ground into an inning-ending double play for his 13th save in 15 chances.
"The ninth inning would not have even been interesting if we make routine plays," Pirates left fielder
(4-2) again was denied his 50th career victory, surrendering all five runs and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings. The loss extended Wood's winless streak to four starts. He did not get a decision in his previous three outings, all wins by the Cubs.
"Pittsburgh has some contact guys," Cubs manager
said. "They were hitting Wood's fastball before he could get to his breaking ball."
"Pittsburgh didn't give me a chance to get to the breaking ball," Wood added. "I was behind the whole game. D'Amico was ahead of hitters. That makes it a lot easier to pitch."
had two RBI for the Pirates, each time driving in
, who extended his hitting streak to 19 games with a third-inning single.
Lofton is batting .406 (31-of-76) during his run, the longest current hitting streak in the National League, to raise his average from .205 to .299. He also stole a run by scoring on a popup just that was caught behind second base in the third inning.
"Any opportunity you have to do something, you have to try and do it against a good pitcher like Wood," Lofton said. "You try to take advantage of everything."
Pittsburgh tacked on three runs in the sixth to take a 5-0 lead.
started the ining with back-to-back home runs before
added an RBI single.
D'Amico blanked the Cubs until giving up a two-run single to
in the eighth. Chicago did not get a runner to third in the first seven innings.
"I was changing speeds, keeping the ball down in the strike zone," D'Amico said. "I'm not a guy that's going to walk a lot of people. I try try to make them get their hits and hopefully, they hit it right at somebody."
Lofton walked to start the bottom of the first, stole second and scored on Ramirez's single. Prior to the hit, Ramirez was just 4-for-39 this season with runners in scoring position.
Two innings later, Lofton led off with a single and moved to third on Wilson's hit. Ramirez poped up to second baseman
, who made the catch about 15 feet from the infield. When Grudzielanek held the ball, Lofton raced home and Grudzielanek's belated throw was cut off.
"You just sit back and see what he does, see him back on his heels," Lofton said. "It's going to be tough for him to get a nice throw. I did a fake, caught him on his heels. He couldn't make a strong throw."
"You won't see Grudzielanek hold the ball like that again in a game," Baker added. "He probably didn't even think that he was going to try it. Lofton is just an aggressive baserunner."
replaced D'Amico and got the final two outs in the eighth for the Pirates.