Rick Sutcliffe, in his first appearance in nearly three weeks, pitched a five-hitter and catcher Jody Davis hit a home run in the second inning to give the Cubs a 1-0 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates yesterday in Chicago.
Loser Jose DeLeon, who had won his last start, dropped to 1-8.
Sutcliffe (6-4) came straight off the disabled list to strike out nine and walk three in pitching his league-leading third shutout and his fifth complete game this season. Wrigley Field's largest paid crowd of the season, 37,414, saw Sutcliffe retire 15 in a row in one stretch.
Sutcliffe, the 1984 Cy Young Award winner, had not pitched since he partially tore his left hamstring May 19. He started shakily, but stranded six Pirates in the first three innings. Then, after a leadoff single by Doug Frobel in the fourth, he kept the bases empty until Tony Pena led off the ninth with a single.
Davis' fourth homer of the season, first since May 3, cleared the left field wall on DeLeon's first pitch of the second inning.
"I always hit when (Sutcliffe) pitches," said Davis, who also had a double and a single to account for half the Cubs' hits."
To make room for Sutcliffe, the Cubs designated left-hander Larry Gura for assignment.