Chicago rookie third baseman Kris Bryant contributed three hits and a trio of RBIs Monday in the Cubs 5-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park.
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The crew of the Jolly Roger saw their three-game winning streak come to a halt, and their record move to 6-7. The Bucs are tied for third place in the National League Central with the Cincinnati Reds. The Bucs are 4-2 along the North Shore and 2-4 on the road this season.
After Chicago starter Jake Arrieta surrendered one earned run in the first, it was smooth sailing the rest of the way for the 6-foot-4, 225-pound right-hander. The Farmington, Missouri native struck out seven, walked none, and scattered four hits on his 100-pitches and seven innings of work.
It was Andrew McCutchen‘s single to right off Arrieta that drove in Gregory Polanco from second to get the Bucs on the scoreboard in the bottom of the first.
Bryant brought the game even with a two-out single to right off A.J. Burnett that permitted Jorge Soler to come home from second. The Bucs’ 6-foot-4, 230-pound right-hander allowed only one earned run over six innings while walking two and striking out one over six innings. He gave up eight hits as he threw 60 of his 91 pitches for strikes.
The Cubs pushed three more runs across the plate in the seventh when Arquimedes Caminero came on in relief of Burnett. Bryant brought home Soler and Anthony Rizzo with a two-out double to center. He took third on the throw home, and scored when catcher Francisco Cervelli missed the throw for an error.
The Boys from the Windy City added an insurance run in the eighth off reliever Antonio Bastardo when Jonathan Herrera singled to right and scored Chris Denorfia from second.
With two out in the ninth, Starling Marte claimed his fourth home run on a fly ball to left center field off Chicago’s Zac Rosscup. The rally ended there as the 6-foot-2, 220-pound left-hander got Pedro Alvarez to ground out to first to end the contest.
It should be noted that while Bryant went 3-for-4 on the night, it was rookie right fielder Soler who also lit up the box score for the Cubs by going 4-for-5 against Clint Hurdle’s squad.
Up Next: It is Game 2 of the four-game set between the Pirates and Cubs Tuesday evening. The first pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. Chicago (7-5) will send left-hander Travis Wood (1-1, 2.31 ERA) to the hill while the Bucs will counter with Francisco Liriano (0-1, 2.08 ERA).
The 31-year-old left-hander will be making his third start of the season tomorrow. His last start was a 1-0 loss Wednesday, April 15 to the Detroit Tigers. The 6-foot-2, 215-pound veteran put up a 7-10 record and a 3.38 ERA in 29 starts last season for the Bucs. The game will be broadcast by ROOT Sports Pittsburgh.
From The Clipboard: The time of the game was 2:50. The beginning of the contest was delayed 28-minutes by rain and was held up for an additional 23-minutes in the second because a female fan behind home plate was hit in the head by a ball off the bat of the Cubs Starlin Castro…The attendance was 11,777…The Bucs’ Jordy Mercer was on the bench Monday with a bruised chest after he was struck by a pitch Sunday from Brewers right-hander Matt Garza. He could be back on Tuesday.