The Pittsburgh Pirates dropped the first game of their short two-game series to the Chicago Cubs on Monday night, a 3-2 defeat at Wrigley Field.
The Bucs have now lost three of four games since coming out of the All-Star break, and sit at 40-57 for the season.
JT Brubaker started for Pittsburgh, lasting six innings while giving up two runs on eight hits with two walks and four strikeouts. Yerry De Los Santos suffered the loss (0-2), giving up one run (unearned) on a hit and a walk in his one inning on the bump.
Adrian Sampson started for the Cubs, giving up two runs on six hits in seven innings, lowering his ERA to 3.20 for the season. Mychal Givens earned the victory (6-2), while Scott Effross tallied his first save of the season.
Pittsburgh scored the game’s first run in the top of the second. Oneil Cruz’s single scored Ben Gamel to give the Bucs an early 1-0 lead. The Cubs answered immediately in the bottom of the inning. Nico Hoerner singled home Ian Happ to tie the game.
Chicago would take the lead in the bottom of the third when Rafael Ortega hit a solo homerun, his fifth of the season, to right field, making it a 2-1 game.
Josh VanMeter’s double in the fifth scored Tyler Heineman to tie the game, 2-2. But Hoerner was the hero of the day for Chicago, hitting the game-winning double in the bottom of the eighth, scoring Seiya Suzuki to break the 2-2 tie. Effross shut the Pirates down in the top of the ninth to secure the victory.
This was a difficult loss for the Pirates. They played a hard-fought game and simply came up short in the end. The Cubs are playing well right now, and the Bucs have been sluggish coming out of the gates after the All-Star break. They will look to avoid the two-game series sweep on Tuesday afternoon. Bryse Wilson will start for Pittsburgh against Keegan Thompson for Chicago.
Record vs. Cubs: 8-6
Record vs. N.L. Central: 18-28
Record on the Road: 19-32
Overall Record: 40-57
Let’s Go Bucs!