Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro each went deep during a nine-run fifth inning as the Cubs crushed the Pirates, 14-4, in the opener of a three-game series. Darwin Barney added a three-run shot and four RBI in Chicago's third straight win. Justin Germano went five innings to earn his first win in his first start with the Cubs. Erik Bedard was tagged for nine runs, eight earned, in four-and-a-third innings to fall to 5-and-12. Michael McKenry knocked in two runs in Pittsburgh's second straight loss.
The Cubs have agreed to trade pitcher Paul Maholm and outfielder Reed Johnson to the Braves in exchange for pitchers Arodys Vizcaino and Jaye Chapman. Dating back to June 29th, Maholm is 5-and-0 with a 1.02 ERA. Johnson is hitting .302 with three homers and 16 RBI this year.
The Cubs have also agreed to trade catcher Geovany Soto to the Rangers. According to the report, the Cubs will receive pitching prospect Jacob Brigham in return. Soto hit .199 with six homers and 14 RBI in 52 games with the Cubs this season.