The Pittsburgh Pirates continued their seven game homestand Thursday night with the first of four games against the Chicago Cubs. Chicago had beaten Pittsburgh in their previous six games this season, and game one of this series was no different as they would get the best of the Pirates by the final of 5-4 in ten innings.
The Cubs scored in the first inning on an RBI single to left center by Cody Bellinger. Two more runs would cross the plate for Chicago in the second. The first came on a sac fly by Jeimer Candelario, while the second would be when Nico Hoerner singled to right center plating Yan Gomes. Pittsburgh finally got on the board in the bottom half of the second when Ji Hwan Bae drove home Endy Rodriguez on a single to center.
The Pirates would tie the game at three in the third when Joshua Palacios hit a two-run homer 427 ft. to right. The game would remain tied until the top of the tenth. That is when Ian Happ would drive in two runs to put Chicago back on top. Conner Joe brought home Ke’Bryan Hayes home with a sac fly in the tenth, but it would not be enough.
Rob Zastryzny started the game and allowed one run on two hits with a strikeout over one inning. Andre Jackson covered the next six innings, giving up two runs on six hits with two strikeouts. Colin Holderman worked a scoreless eighth before David Bednar would allow one hit in the ninth. Thomas Hatch was tagged with the loss after allowing two runs, none earned, on one hit with two walks in the tenth.
Cubs starter Justin Steele worked six innings, allowing three runs, two earned, on six hits with two walks and six strikeouts. Julian Merryweather struck out one batter in the seventh, while Michael Fulmer walked one and struck out one in the eighth. The ninth would belong to Daniel Palencia even after walking two batters. Adbert Alzolay got his 20th save after working the tenth and allowing a hit.
Pittsburgh will have six more chances this season to get a win against Chicago this season. The first of those chances will take place on Friday night at 7:05pm. The pitching matchup will feature Mitch Keller going up against Kyle Hendricks.
Record vs. Cubs: 0-7
Record vs. N.L. Central: 16-21
Record at Home: 31-34
Overall Record: 57-71
Let’s Go Bucs!