The Pittsburgh Pirates snapped their two-game losing streak Wednesday as they defeated the Cubs 8-1 at Wrigley Field in Chicago.
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By closing out the month of April on a winning note, the crew of the Jolly Roger improved their record to 12-10. They were 9-13 after 22 contests last season. Clint Hurdle‘s squad is 4-2 on this 10-day, nine-game road trip.
It was a night to remember for Andrew McCutchen as he went 2-for-5 at the plate. Thr pair of hits gave the 5-foot-10, 200-pound center fielder 1,000 hits in his career. The milestone came in the eighth on a ground ball single to third. Jack Wilson was the last player to obtain his first 1,000 career hits in a Pittsburgh uniform back in 2007.
For Gerrit Cole, it was just another night at the office as he collected his fourth win of the season. The 6-foot-4, 230-pound righthander struck out eight and walked one over six innings. He delivered 59 of his 95 pitches for strikes.
The only run the Cubs put up was unearned and came in the bottom of the second when Miguel Montero singled on a ground ball to right that scored Kris Bryant. The ball was deflected by Pedro Alvarez.
The Bucs tied it up with two-out in the fourth on Jung Ho Kang’s single to left off Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks that drove in Starling Marte.
Pittsburgh took the lead for good with two-out in the fifth when with the bases loaded Starling Marte was walked by Hendricks which permitted Gregory Polanco to come home.
Hendricks was done for the evening after five innings of work. The 6-foot-3, 190-pound righthander gave up two earned runs on five hits while striking out six and walking three. He hurled 54 of his 96 pitches for strikes.
The Pirates erupted for four runs in the sixth inning with two-out off Chicago reliever Gonzalez Germen. Jordy Mercer got it started with a single to center that scored Chris Stewart.
McCutchen claimed his first triple of the season on a sharp fly ball to center that brought both Polanco and Mercer across the plate. Marte singled on a ground ball to center that drove in McCutchen.
Pittsburgh added two more runs to the scoreboard in the ninth. Kang doubled to center off Cubs reliever Phil Coke that scored Pedro Alvarez. Sean Rodriguez ground into a double play that allowed Kang to come home.
Coming on in the seventh, Arquimedes Caminero allowed one hit while striking out two for the Bucs. Tony Watson answered the call to the bullpen in the eighth and gave up two hits while also striking out two. Mark Melancon fired 14 of his 20 pitches for strikes in the ninth to close the door on the Cubs.
Up Next: The Pirates have an off day Thursday. They head to St. Louis Friday to begin a three-game series with the Cardinals (14-6). The first pitch is scheduled for 8:15 p.m. The Cards will go with righthander Lance Lynn (1-2, 3.63 ERA) while the Bucs will send A.J. Burnett (0-1, 1.80 ERA) to the hill.
The 38-year-old will be making his fifth start of the season. His last start was a no-decision in Pittsburgh’s 2-1 victory against the Diamondbacks Saturday in Arizona. The 6-foot-4, 225-pound righthander is 9-6 with a 3.87 ERA in 18 career regular season starts against St. Louis. The game will be on ROOT Sports Pittsburgh.
From The Clipboard: The time of the game was 3:04 and 30,634 were in attendance at Wrigley Field…In the win over the Cubs, the Pirates tied their season high for hits in a single game with 14. They did it April 26 against the Diamondbacks in Arizona…Pittsburgh closes out the first month of the season still in search of their first grand slam or inside-the-park home run.