I wasnt on the team regardless of injury
PITTSBURGH -- The weary Chicago Cubs bullpen needed a break. DaeSean Hamilton Broncos Jersey . New manager Rick Renteria needed a win. Jason Hammel did a pretty solid job providing both. The veteran right-hander pitched two-hit ball into the seventh inning and the Cubs edged the Pittsburgh Pirates 3-2 on Thursday for their first victory of the season. "I didnt think it was going to be such a relief but it is quite a relief," Renteria said. "Its nice to win. These games were tough. Taking the last one was very gratifying." Particularly considering the first two were so draining. The Cubs lost in 10 innings on opening day and in 16 innings on Wednesday night -- actually, early Thursday morning -- in a 5-hour, 55-minute marathon that marked the longest Major League Baseball game (by time anyway) ever held in Pittsburgh. Hammel and four relievers needed only 2:39 to help the Cubs avoid their first 0-3 start since 1997, when the club lost 14 straight to begin the season. The 31-year-old Hammel allowed one run in 6 2-3 innings with one walk and five strikeouts. "He couldnt have been any better," Renteria said of Hammel. "He got to 97 pitches, got us into the seventh inning to help save the bullpen. He worked through a pretty good lineup pretty easily." The Cubs signed Hammel to a one-year, $6 million contract in February hoping he can provide some stability in the middle of the rotation. He was sharp in his Chicago debut, allowing singles in the first and third innings but otherwise keeping the Pirates in check. "We played three great games here," Hammel said. "There is no reason to hang our heads because we only won one. We played great but it looks like were going to be one-run warriors. Youve got to win these type of games and we did. We got some timely hits, good defence and played well for 27 outs." Emilio Bonifacio went 2 for 4 and scored twice to continue his torrid start. The Chicago centre fielder hit 11 for 16 (.688) during the opening three-game series. Mike Olt hit the first home run of his career for the Cubs. Tony Sanchez hit a two-run single in the seventh for the Pirates but Pittsburgh couldnt put together its first 3-0 start since 2007. Wandy Rodriguez (0-1) struggled early in his first start in 10 months but settled down late. The left-hander allowed three runs on five hits with a walk and five strikeouts. He retired 10 of the last 11 batters he faced after missing most of 2013 with tightness in his left forearm. "(Rodriguez) finished up very efficiently, very strong, a very good outing," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "A big confidence boost for him and a momentum builder." After slogging through 26 innings in the first two games of the series, things moved a bit more briskly on a cold, wet day at PNC Park thanks in part to a pair of pitchers who werent in the mood to nibble at the plate. Hammel left the seventh after walking Neil Walker with two outs. Pittsburgh took advantage of another shaky performance from Chicagos bullpen with Sanchez -- who provided the walkoff hit on Wednesday -- smacking a two-run single up the middle off Justin Grimm to pull the Pirates within a run. Pittsburgh put the tying run on base leading off both the eighth and ninth, but Strop got Sanchez to line into a game-ending double play. NOTES: Renteria said the club will wait to decide whether RHP Carlos Villanueva will make his scheduled start on Sunday against Philadelphia. Villanueva pitched 1 1-3 innings and took the loss on Wednesday night. ... The Cubs open the 100th season at Wrigley Park on Friday against the Phillies. Travis Wood starts for Chicago against Roberto Hernandez. ... The Pirates open a three-game series on Friday against defending NL Central champion St. Louis. Gerrit Cole, who took the loss in Game 5 of the NL division series against the Cardinals last year, starts for Pittsburgh against Shelby Miller. DaeSean Hamilton Jersey . Louis Cardinals pitcher Jaime Garcia will have surgery on his left shoulder this week and is expected to miss the rest of the season. Jared Veldheer Broncos Jersey . Already owning gold from competition in Vancouver in 2010, Loch posted a combined four-run time of 3:27.526. That included a track-record third run of 51.While 25 players were announced as members of the 2014 Canadian Olympic mens hockey team headed to Sochi, one disappointed NHL player that was left off the roster is San Jose Sharks forward Logan Couture. "Its been tough," said Couture. "Getting the call this morning that I wasnt on the team was very difficult." Sharks general manager Doug Wilson announced on Tuesday that Couture would be having surgery to correct an upper body injury that he has been playing with for several weeks. Couture however, does not believe being hurt had anything to do with him not beeing selected to the Olympic team. Tramaine Brock Jersey. "From what I was told I wasnt on the team regardless of injury," said Couture. So far during the 2013-14 season, the 24-year-old forward has 14 goals and 20 assists in 43 games, following this 21-goal performance in the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season. "Honestly I never thought the injury would affect it, I thought I gave myself the best chance," said Couture. "It doesnt get any easier being left off this team. The Olympics only come around every four years. Its tough to take right now."