The Pittsburgh Pirates began their final homestand of the season on Tuesday night when they started a three-game series against the Chicago Cubs. Pittsburgh was coming off a rough outing against the Cincinnati Reds on Monday, so a big game is just what they would need to get that bad taste out of their mouth. The Pirates took an early lead, only to see Chicago score six unanswered runs. Pittsburgh would then score the next five runs to pick up an 8-6 victory.
Colin Moran got things started in the first when he smacked a three-run home run to center. The Cubs then plated three runs in the third to tie the game. Frank Schwindel got their first run across with a single to right. Matty Duffy then singled to right to bring in the second run. The third run of the inning came around with another single to right, this one from Nick Martini. Ian Happ gave Chicago the lead in the fifth on a single to right. Duffy then hit an RBI double to center for their fifth run. The Cubs final run came when Martini hit a sac fly to left.
Pirates starter Mitch Keller was charged with all six runs. He would only work four innings and allow six runs on nine hits with three walks and two strikeouts. If this was the final start of the year for Keller, it will definitely leave a sour taste in his mouth until 2022. Chicago starter Alec Mills had an equally bad night during his five innings on the mound. He would allow six runs on seven hits with four strikeouts and two walks.
Pittsburgh would begin their comeback with a four run sixth inning. Ben Gamel drove in Bryan Reynolds on a sac fly to center. Hoy Park drove in two runs on a triple to right center. Michael Chavis gave the Pirates the lead with a single to right that scored Park. Pittsburgh scored their final run of the night in the seventh when Moran singled to right.
After Keller exited the game, the Pirates bullpen kept the Cubs offense in check. After Anthony Banda pitched a scoreless fifth, Enyel De Los Santos allowed one hit in the sixth. In the seventh Chasen Shreve would give up a hit, but strikeout three batters. David Bednar struck out two and walked two batters in the eighth. The save would go to Chris Stratton who allowed one hit in the ninth.
Great to see the offense and bullpen step up for this team tonight to open the series. Keller clearly still has some work to do, which he will hopefully figure out before the 2022 season begins. This three-game series will continue tomorrow night at 6:35pm. Highly touted prospect Roansy Contreras will make the start for Pittsburgh, while Chicago will counter with Kyle Hendricks.
Record vs. Cubs: 5-12
Record vs. N.L. Central: 21-50
Record at Home: 35-41
Overall Record: 59-98
Let’s Go Bucs!