Chicago Cubs Stage a Late Rally to Surge Past the Pirates 5-3

Ryan NeimanContributor IIIApril 2, 2011

CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 01: Starlin Castro #13 of the Chicago Cubs high fives Geovany Soto #18 after scoring in the third inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates during opening day at Wrigley Field on April 1, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Cubs nation can finally breathe easier.

After a disappointing loss to the Pirates on Opening Day, the Cubs rallied from a 3-0 deficit to propel them to their first victory on the season.

They say the first win is always the hardest, and today's game was not any exception.

Carlos Zambrano gave up three runs in six innings on five hits including a Garrett Jones home run.

Paul Maholm, who recorded three of his nine victories last season against Chicago, was masterful through 6 2/3 of pitching while giving up just five hits and zero runs.

It appeared the Cubs were on the brink to begin the season 0-2 while trailing 3-0 entering the eighth inning against Pirates bullpen.

What many believe to be the strongest asset on this Pirates team, their bullpen coughed up five runs to give the Cubs a 5-3 lead.

Evan Meek, who would be a closer on most teams, began the bottom of the eighth inning with a walk to Fukudome.

Fukudome advanced to second on a wild pitch by Meek and he eventually came home on a ground-rule double by Starlin Castro.

Marlon Byrd was safe on an error by first baseman Lyle Overbay, which allowed Castro to come around home.

Geovany Soto singled to right to place runners on first and second.

Alfonso Soriano delivered with a single to right field to score Byrd.

Tyler Colvin walked to load the bases for Blake DeWitt, who slashed a double down left field to score Soto and Soriano to put the Cubs up for good, 5-3.

Carlos Marmol was fantastic as usual as he shut the door closed for any chance of a Pirates comeback to secure the Cubs first win on the season.

For the second straight day, Chicago's bullpen was flawless throwing three innings of shutout ball, registering six strikeouts.