CHICAGO (AP) — Dioner Navarro welcomes the chance to come off the bench to hit in a big spot late in the game.
The veteran catcher delivered a pinch-hit sacrifice fly in the 11th inning to give the Chicago Cubs a 4-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday.
"Ninety percent of the time when you pinch-hit in key situations, I don't want to sound cocky, but I kind of like to be in that situation," Navarro said. "It's the best against me and I love the challenge every time I get the opportunity."
Navarro is 6 for 14 as a pinch hitter this season with two home runs and four RBIs.
"Navarro has been doing it all year, constantly off the bench and getting the job done," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. "It's a nice asset to have. Our bench has done a good job all year."
Anthony Rizzo sparked the winning rally with a leadoff single. He advanced on Alfonso Soriano's single and went to third when Pirates catcher Russell Martin threw the ball into center field while trying to pick Rizzo off second.
Luis Valbuena was walked intentionally before Navarro's fly ball to right off Bryan Morris (4-3) gave the Cubs their seventh win in the last 11 games.
"We know we have a better team than the record shows," Cubs starter Carlos Villanueva said. "We've lost some heartbreaking close games. You take back at least half of those games and we're in a better position. Right now, I think it's important for us to keep playing well into the All-Star break and have a strong second half."
Matt Guerrier (3-4) pitched two scoreless innings for his first win with Chicago. He was acquired in the trade that sent Carlos Marmol to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday.