Aramis Ramirez blasted two three-run homers last night to help the Cubs beat the Pirates, 13-8, and remain a game and a half up on the Brewers. Ramirez's second homer, his 25th of the season, broke a 7-7 tie in the sixth. Chicago needed the win because second-place Milwaukee beat Atlanta, 4-1.
The Cubs and Pirates played in 21-mph winds at Wrigley, and neither starter lasted three innings. The Pirates' Paul Maholm gave up six earned runs, and Chicago's Jason Marquis was rocked for seven. The Cubs hit four homers on the night. Heading into the pennant stretch, the Cubs have eight games left, the Brewers nine.