Pittsburgh Pirates Edge Chicago Cubs To Snap Two Game Losing Streak


The Pittsburgh Pirates held off a late surge by the Cubs Wednesday to snap a two-game losing streak and defeat Chicago 4-3 at PNC Park.

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Clint Hurdle‘s squad improved their record to 7-8 on a chilly evening along the North Shore. The Bucs are in fourth place in the National League Central and remain above .500 at home with a record of 5-4 this season.

Chicago’s Jason Hammel surrendered all four runs, three of which were earned, over five innings of work. The 6-foot-6, 225-pound right-hander gave up six hits on 91 pitches. The Greenville, South Carolina native struck out five and walked none as he saw his record drop to 1-1.

The winning run came in the bottom of the fifth as Gregory Polanco hit his first home run of the season on a line drive to right. The 6-foot-5, 230-pound outfielder went 2-for-4 at the plate. The Bucs have homered in a season-high six straight games.

Pittsburgh’s Francisco Cervelli got the scoring started in the second when he doubled to right that drove in Starling Marte from second base and moved Pedro Alvarez to third. Next it was Jung Ho Kang, who sent a sacrifice fly to left that allowed Alvarez to cross home plate.

With the bases loaded in the bottom of the third and one out, Alvarez hit a sacrifice fly to right that scored Andrew McCutchen from third base and gave the Bucs a 3-1 lead.

Vance Worley started for the Jolly Roger crew Wednesday and allowed one run over five 2/3 innings. The 6-foot-2, 250-pound right-hander also permitted six hits, struck out five, and walked two on 106 pitches. The Sacramento, Calif. native threw 66 of those pitches for strikes.

The Cubs scored a run in the fourth when Starlin Castro grounded out third to first that allowed Kris Bryant to come home from third.

After Rob Scahill and Arquimedes Caminero kept Chicago’s offense under wraps for one 1/3 innings, the Cubs put two more runs up when Jared Hughes came on in the eighth inning.

Miguel Montero singled on a line drive to left that scored Anthony Rizzo from third and loaded the bases. Pinch-hitter David Ross hit into a fielder’s choice that brought Kris Bryant home against Tony Watson, who took over for Hughes.

Watson picked up his first save this season when he closed the door in the ninth. The 6-foot-4, 225-pound left-hander struck out one, walked none, and threw 19 of his 30 pitches for strikes.

There was a moment of concern for the Pirate faithful in the third when Marte had to exit the game after being hit on the right hand by Hammel. He was diagnosed with a soft tissue contusion.


Up Next: The Pirates and Cubs conclude their four-game set Thursday afternoon. The first pitch is set for 12:35 p.m. Chicago (8-6) will go with right-hander Kyle Hendricks (0-0, 6.10 ERA) while the Bucs will send Jeff Locke (2-0, 1.93 ERA).

The 27-year-old will be making his third start of the season tomorrow. His last start was a 6-2 victory Saturday against the Milwaukee Brewers. The 6-foot, 195-pound left-hander went 7-6 with a 3.91 ERA in 21 starts last season for the Bucs. The game will be broadcast by ROOT Sports Pittsburgh.

From The Clipboard: The time of the game was 3:04 and the attendance was 15,101…The Bucs have won six of their last ten contests…They are 5-2 when they score first and 7-1 when leading after seven innings…Thursday is Military Appreciation Day, and Pittsburgh will don their camouflage alternate jerseys to honor the men and women who serve or served in the United States military.

Next: Can this year be a charming third time for the Pirates?