The 6-5 righthander was 6-0 with a 1.44 ERA in six career starts against the Cubs, including a 5-2 victory last Wednesday in Pittsburgh.
"Right now I'd rather be 7-0 than 6-1 against them," D'Amico said. "That's about all I can say about that."
He was victimized by home runs this time, a surprising development since D'Amico (4-5) had allowed a total of just three in 54 innings this season. The Cubs nearly doubled that total.
After hitting a foul home run on an 0-2 pitch, Miller pulled a fastball over the left field wall in the second inning to give the Cubs a 3-2 lead.
"On the previous pitch I hit foul, he was kind of inside with the fastball," Miller said. "The next one wasn't quite as inside and I was able to adjust and hit it out. I was surprised because you don't really see pitches double up with a fastball. I needed that hit for the team because I've been terrible lately."
Miller had just seven hits in his previous 47 at-bats.
Following a one-out double by Troy O'Leary in the third inning, Gonzalez launched the first pitch he saw over the center field wall to increase the advantage to 5-2.
(6-2) bounced back from his worst start of the season, but still allowed four runs and eight hits in 7 2/3 innings with eight strikeouts. Last Friday at Houston, he yielded six first-inning runs in a 7-5 loss.
"I didn't think I pitched particularly well," Prior said. "Fortunately, the guys helped me out with some long balls. Without (Sammy) Sosa, we've been playing small ball."
The Pirates threatened in the ninth, but
on a grounder to second with two runners on and two outs. He notched his 10th save in 12 opportunities.
"I'm not automatic, but I think I did a pretty good job in that role," Borowski said. "I know I haven't won the (closer) job, but that's OK. As long as I keep getting outs, they'll be running me out there."
The loss snapped a three-game winning streak for Pittsburgh.
"When you take two of three from a first-place team, it's a good situation," Pirates outfielder
said. "We just need to keep it going this weekend in St. Louis."
, who has a 25-game hitting streak, was given the day off.
also had his day cut short after being ejected by first base umpire Bill Hohn in the second inning. McClendon came out of the dugout to argue with Hohn when the ump called Chicago's
Hee Seop Choi
safe at first on an slow roller to short to start the inning. It appeared on replays that the throw to first beat Choi.
"He (Hohn) saw him safe and said the play wasn't even close," McClendon said. "From my vantage point and the replay, a big league umpire can't miss a call like that. It cost us."
"From my viewpoint on the mound, he looked out," D'Amico said. "At the time it seemed insignificant, but to lose a one-run game is frustrating, I'm sure the umpire will look at the replay and realize he blew it."
Two outs later,
singled and Miller followed with his fifth home run of the season. With Prior at the plate, McClendon continued his argument and was ejected by Hohn.
Prior struck out four of the first five batters he faced before yielding three straight hits in the second.
singled and scored on a double by
capped the inning with an RBI single.
Prior held the Pirates in check until the eighth when
, pinch-hitting for D'Amico, led off with a double and scored on a one-out single by Reboulet. After Giles flied out to center, Ramirez doubled off the wall in left to score Reboulet and chase Prior.
"I know I wanted to complete that game, but I ran out of gas," said Prior, who threw 123 pitches. "The guys in the pen bailed me out."