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Rizzo powers Cubs past Pirates

Pittsburgh, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Anthony Rizzo went 3-for-4 with a two-run homer  and three RBI  as the Chicago Cubs beat the Pittsburgh Pirates, 7-3, in the second installment of a four-game series at PNC Park.

Rizzo  also  collected two doubles and  scored three runs, while Luis Valbuena drove in a pair of runs for the Cubs, who snapped a two-game losing skid.

"I  just feel very confident," Rizzo said. "If you're feeling confident at the plate,  it makes a  huge difference. I do feel good and I'm just gonna ride it out."

Chicago starter Travis Wood (6-5), who came in with a league-worst 8.04 ERA on the  road, tossed a  solid 6 2/3 innings, allowing three runs on nine hits and two walks.

Pirates  top  prospect Gregory  Polanco  made  his long-awaited  major  league debut,  going 1-for-5 with a single and a run scored. Andrew McCutchen smashed a two-run home run for the Pirates, who have dropped three of their last four.

"I  was very  excited," Polanco said of  his first big league game. "I know we lost but it was my first game and I was so excited to play."

Casey Sadler (0-1) was tagged for four runs on four hits in just 2 2/3 innings of relief to absorb the loss.

Junior  Lake reached on a base hit before Rizzo crushed a two-run shot to deep right field in the first to give the Cubs an early lead.

After  Polanco lined  a two-out, opposite-field single in the third, McCutchen tied the game on a two-run homer into the Cubs bullpen.

Pirates  starter Francisco  Liriano showed  some discomfort  in his  left side during warm-up pitches before the fourth inning and left the game.

Jeanmar  Gomez took over  and was welcomed by a Rizzo double. A hit batter put runners  on  the corners and  Darwin Barney's  two-out double plated Rizzo and made it 3-2 Chicago.

The  Pirates answered with a bases loaded sac fly to center from Josh Harrison that scored Jordy Mercer to tie the game in the home half.

Pinch-hitter  Valbuena  delivered a  two-run double  off the center-field wall that  made it 5-3 Cubs in the sixth. Starlin Castro walked and Justin Ruggiano was hit by a pitch after a groundout to start the inning.

Lake  reached on  a two-out bunt in the  seventh and Rizzo drove him in with a double  to right that Polanco had trouble catching in right field. Castro made it 7-3 with a line-drive single.

                                   Game Notes

Rizzo  has  five homers in his  last 10 games ...  Polanco is rated the No. 12 overall  prospect in  the majors by MLB.com ... While McCutchen hit a combined four  homers in April and May, he's already gone deep five times in nine games during  June  ... Liriano  allowed two  runs on three  hits before exiting the
game.

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