The Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Chicago Cubs in another wild game at Wrigley Field on Thursday by a final score of 8-6. With the win, the Bucs claimed the series, dealing a blow to the Cubs’ playoff aspirations.
Johan Oviedo started for Pittsburgh, giving up four hits and issuing five walks without giving up a run in his six innings on the mound. The bullpen struggled on Thursday, with Colin Holderman giving up three runs and David Bednar surrendering a pair of runs as well.
Kyle Hendricks suffered the loss for Chicago, giving up three runs (one earned) on seven hits in six innings. The Cubs now sit in a tie with the Miami Marlins for the final Wild Card spot, with the Cincinnati Reds just a half game back.
Miguel Andujar’s double in the top of the third scored a pair of runs to give the Pirates an early 2-0 lead. He stepped to the plate once again in the fifth inning and singled home Ke’Bryan Hayes to make it 3-0.
The Cubs got on the board in the bottom of the seventh on a RBI single by Dansy Swanson. But Pittsburgh answered with two runs in the top of the eighth. Ji Hwan Bae’s RBI triple was followed by a RBI single by Connor Joe, increasing the lead to 5-1 and it appeared as though this may be an easy victory for Pittsburgh.
Chicago battled back with three runs in the bottom of the eighth inning. Mike Tauchman’s RBI double got the scoring started, and after a wild pitch by Holderman allowed a run to score, an RBI groundout by Nico Hoerner cut the lead to 5-4.
Joshua Palacios provided what would end up being the game winning hit in the top of the ninth inning. His 10th homerun of the season was a three run shot to right center field, making it 8-4 Pittsburgh.
A two-run homerun by Swanson in the bottom of the ninth made things interesting, but Bednar was able to set the next three batters down to secure the victory for the Pirates.
The Pirates may not have much to play for in terms of playoff contention, but the Cubs do, and this young Bucs’ team seemed focused on ruining those plans for their division rivals. Next up is the Reds, another club that is in desperate need of wins if they are going to advance to the postseason. The first of the three game series is Friday night at 6:40pm.
Record vs. Cubs: 3-10
Record vs. N.L. Central: 23-26
Record on the Road: 34-41
Overall Record: 72-81
Let’s Go Bucs!