The Pittsburgh Pirates were back at PNC Park on Thursday night to begin a four-game series against the Chicago Cubs. Pittsburgh was coming back to town after losing a combined six games against both MLB teams in New York. That losing trend would continue in this series opener after Chicago bested them by the final of 3-2
The Cubs jumped out to a two-run lead in the second inning when Christopher Morel drove in a pair of runs with a double to shallow left. Those were the only runs that Pirates starter Mitch Keller allowed during his six innings on the mound. He would also allow four hits, walk two, and strike out seven batters.
Pittsburgh jumped on the board in the third on a Bryan Reynolds single to right that plated Jason Delay. Chicago added another run in the seventh with an RBI single by Michael Hermosillo. That run was charged to David Bednar, who was making his long-awaited return from the IL. He pitched one inning, giving up two hits, with a strikeout and a walk.
Kevin Newman hit a solo home run in the seventh to get the Pirates back to within a run, but that is where the game would end. Both Pittsburgh runs came off of Cubs starter Hayden Wesneski. He would pitch 6.1 innings, allowing five hits, with six strikeouts and two walks. Brandon Hughes collected the second out of the seventh, before giving way to Mark Leiter Jr. who picked up his third save of the season.
Duane Underwood Jr. and Robert Stephenson pitched the final two innings, combining to allow one hit and three strikeouts. It’s hard to believe that Chicago is ten games better than Pittsburgh, but that’s where we are at this point in the season. Reynolds was definitely the Pirates offensive star of the night, having three of the teams six hits.
Record vs. Cubs: 8-8
Record vs. N.L. Central: 28-36
Record at Home: 28-44
Overall Record: 55-95
Let’s Go Bucs!