Keith Moreland drove in two runs with a single and a home run and Rick Sutcliffe posted his 15th consecutive regular-season win as the Chicago Cubs earned a 2-1 opening-day victory yesterday over the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates.
Sutcliffe, the 1984 Cy Young Award winner with a 16-1 record, went 7 2/3 innings. He set the team record for consecutive victories; Ed Reublach won 14 in a row in 1909. Sutcliffe, who allowed six hits and struck out three, gave up a run when Lee Mazzilli doubled in the eighth and Jason Thompson singled.
Lee Smith struck out three of the four batters he faced for the save.
"It's nice to know that Smitty is down in the pen," said Sutcliffe. "Tomorrow's papers will show it as a win for Sutcliffe but it just as well could have been a loss had it not been for Smith. I was struggling a little bit with my control there for awhile."
Moreland singled in a run in the first inning and led off the fourth with a homer off loser Rick Rhoden.
Pirates pitcher John Candelaria went back to Pittsburgh where his son, John Robert, possibly was to undergo surgery. The 21-month-old boy fell into a swimming pool in Sarasota, Fla., last Christmas and has been in a coma since.