For the third straight game, Alfonso Soriano led off a game for the Chicago Cubs with a home run. This was Soriano's fifth game-winning hit on the homestand. Soriano also contributed a three-run blast to give the Cubs a 6-0 lead, and they proceeded to beat Pittsburgh 7-4.
Making his second straight start in place of Rich Hill, Sean Gallagher had another solid outing. Gallagher earned his first big league win Friday, while holding the Pirates to one run on four hits in six innings.
Rookie of the Year candidate Geovanny Soto also chipped in his eighth home run of the season in the bottom of the first to cap off a three-run inning for the Cubs.
Soto was named the National League Rookie of the Month for April. In the month of April, Soto hit .341 with five home runs and 20 RBI. Soto is currently hitting .328, with the eight home runs and 30 RBI.
Mark DeRosa also hit a home run on Friday to help the Cubs.
Newly acquired Jim Edmonds is not likely to get much playing time in this series with the Pirates throwing left-handers in each of the three games in the series. This season, Edmonds is hitting .105 against left-handed pitchers and .200 against righties.
Right-handed hitting Reed Johnson is expected to get the majority of the playing time in center. By comparison, Johnson is hitting .250 against lefties and .263 against righties.
The Cubs currently have a 2.5-game lead in the division over second-place surging Houston. The Cubs will look to their ace Carlos Zambrano (6-1) to keep the ball rolling against Pittsburgh's Zach Duke (2-2) on Saturday.
Zambrano has won his last five starts, dating back to his only loss against Philadelphia on April 11. Zambrano has a 2.03 ERA in 62 innings of work this season.