After taking two of three from the Cincinnati Reds this weekend, the Pittsburgh Pirates continued their N.L. Central road trip against the first place Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. Tonight, the Bucs missed plenty of scoring opportunities on offense and played sloppy defense on their way to a 6-1 loss to the Cubs.
Trevor Williams started for Pittsburgh tonight, battling his way through five innings against the high powered Chicago offense. Williams was tagged with the loss tonight, giving up two runs on six hits. His mound opponent, Mike Montgomery, pitched very well, giving up one run on six hits in seven innings of work.
An RBI single by Ian Happ in the bottom of the second inning scored Anthony Rizzo to get the Cubs on the board. Rizzo missed a grand slam by a matter of feet in the fifth inning with the bases loaded and just one out. Andrew McCutchen made a great play on the ball, but the flyout did allow Montgomery to score from third base.
The wheels fell off in the seventh inning for the Pirates, when the Cubs finally cashed in on the Bucs’ sloppy play. Two errors by Sean Rodriguez did in Steven Brault on the mound, and a single by Alex Avila pushed three runs across to make it 5-0. All runs scored in the seventh were unearned.
Jordy Mercer led off the top of the eighth inning with a solo homerun to break up Montgomery’s shutout bid, but the Pirates offense went down peacefully from that point on. The Cubs coasted through the final six outs to easily close out the game, and also added a run in the bottom of the eighth to make it a 6-1 lead, which would be the final.
This was not the start to this series the Pirates would have hoped for, especially coming off a couple good victories against the Reds over the weekend. They will need a strong start from Chad Kuhl tomorrow night, as Jake Arrieta will take the mound for the Cubs. First pitch is once again scheduled for 8:05pm.
Record vs. Cubs: 7-6
Record vs. N.L. Central: 25-27
Record on the Road: 28-38
Overall Record: 63-69
Let’s Go Bucs!