It has been a very difficult stretch for the Pittsburgh Pirates as of late. That is certainly what made today’s 12-0 victory over the Chicago Cubs at PNC Park feel that much better. Chad Kuhl pitched seven shutout innings and the Pirates offense knocked around the Cubs bullpen on their way to a comfortable win in front of their home crowd.
Kuhl improved to 7-10 on the season, giving up four runs and two walks while striking out eight Cubs hitters in seven innings. Jake Arrieta fell to 14-9, giving up three runs on four hits in 2.1 innings.
The Pirates took the lead in the bottom of the first on a majestic two run homerun by Josh Bell. Kuhl got himself into trouble, though, in the top of the second, allowing the first pair of hitters on base while struggling with his control. After inducing a fly out, Kuhl gave up a single by Mike Freeman, but Starling Marte threw out Ben Zobrist at home to keep the Cubs off the scoreboard. Arrieta then struck out to end the inning.
Max Moroff crushed a solo homerun to deep right field to lead off the bottom of the third, putting the Bucs in front 3-0. Two batters later, Arrieta was pulled from the game with what appeared to be a right hamstring injury.
Pittsburgh added a run in the bottom of the fifth on a RBI single by Bell, scoring Andrew McCutchen, who doubled earlier in the inning. A double by Moroff in the bottom of the seventh scored Marte from first base to make it 5-0, and a double by Elias Diaz in the eighth scored Jordan Luplow and a two run single by Moroff pushed the lead to 8-0.
McCutchen got in on the fun with a RBI single to left field, scoring Marte. After a groundout by Bell scored a run, David Freese’s two run homerun later in the inning made this one a laugher at 12-0.
After the terrible series in Chicago last week, this was a great win for the Pirates. They have been playing some good baseball the past few days, which is a much needed change from the past couple weeks. The Bucs will look for their fourth victory in a row tomorrow night at PNC Park.
Record vs. Cubs: 8-8
Record vs. N.L. Central: 28-30
Record at Home: 38-32
Overall Record: 66-72
Let’s Go Bucs!