"We need to start hitting the ball better with men on base," Piniella said.
True to form, the Cubs left nine runners stranded and that's been the overall theme this year. Piniella said before the game it was high time his high-payroll team got it going.
"Don't let names fool you," he said. "Production wins. We're confident that that we'll get it going. You got to score more runs consistently. We've got to keep the (opposing) team from scoring, especially late."
The Cubs are 16-22, and they find themselves 5-1/2 games behind the Cincinnati Reds in the NL Central.
"We've struggled," the manager said. "We've struggled in areas. We give up a lot of runs late, and we haven't hit really good with men in scoring position."
CUBS 4, PIRATES 3: Pinch-hitter Xavier Nady hit an RBI single with two outs in the bottom of the eighth as the Cubs avoided the three-game sweep. Left-hander Ted Lilly worked seven innings, giving up six hits and three runs. First baseman Derrek Lee tied the game with an RBI single in the seventh. Righty Carlos Marmol earned his sixth save in seven chances.
--Ryan Theriot did not start Sunday because of a sore left elbow, suffered when he was hit by a pitch Saturday. Piniella said Theriot's range of motion was limited. Theriot had the elbow wrapped Sunday. "It's really nothing," Theriot said. Theriot is 3-for-17 on the homestand. He has not walked since May 1, and the Cubs need him to get on base from the leadoff spot.
--Ryan Dempster leads the Cubs with six quality starts, but he has dropped four straight decisions for the first time since 2002. Dempster is 2-4 with a 3.49 ERA.
--Marlon Byrd extended his hitting streak to four games Sunday. He has hit safely in 16 of his last 18 games. Byrd leads the NL in multi-hit games, with 17. He also is among the league leaders in batting average, at .345.
--Nady was 0-for-9 as a pinch-hitter before delivering with a single that drove in the eventual game-winner. His previous pinch-hit was July 19, 2008 when he was with the Pirates. The Cubs say they want to get Nady more at-bats. They've been easing him into right field as he heals a surgically repaired right elbow. He says that's coming along.
"It's a day-to-day thing and see how it goes," he said. "I couldn't tell you when it will be. I'd like to start throwing to some bases a little harder and kind of see what I have in the tank so I can start throwing some balls home and see what percentage instead of throwing to the cut-off man all the time."
--Lilly made his 100th start as a Cub. He did not get a decision but he threw a season-high 109 pitches and said his surgically repaired pitching shoulder is coming along.
"I think that I'm still trying to figure it out a little bit," he said. "I guess that's part of it. I'm sure there's a lot of guys out there who have to go out there and battle and make the adjustments from one game to the next. I feel like I'm doing that right now. As long as we're winning, I'm going to go out there do everything to keep us in the game."
BY THE NUMBERS: 20 -- Number of team-leading appearances for Sean Marshall through the weekend. He had held opponents to a .177 batting average while walking five and striking out 23.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "Listen, let's get this clear; I wasn't happy the first day after they told me about it. I wasn't sure it was going to work. Now I accept it. I'm a reliever now and I have to do my job as a reliever. I'm happy now. I'm here and I can help this team." -- Carlos Zambrano, on speculation he's unhappy as a setup man.
Piniella: Production, Not Names, Wins
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