Game Sixty – Cubs 4, Pirates 1
WP – Edwin Jackson (2-8) LP – Justin Wilson (5-1) Save – Kevin Gregg (7)
On a day the Cubs no-hit streak appeared to be in jeopardy, Edwin Jackson put together his best outing in a Cubs’ uniform and held the Pirates to just one run over seven rather dominating innings. But the Cubs’ offense could not buy a hit off Jeff Locke in large part to the Pirates’ defense through the first five innings.
The Cubs actually tied the game before they collected their first hit off Jeff Locke. Cody Ransom (1-for-2 with a home run, three RBI, two runs and two walks) walked and advanced to third when Anthony Rizzo grounded out to second in the shift. After Alfonso Soriano (1-for-3 with a walk and a stolen base) walked, Scott Hairston tied the game with a sac fly to center. Dioner Navarro (2-for-2 with two walks) followed Hairston and broke up the no-hit bid with a single to left.
After Edwin Jackson retired the side in order in the seventh, Cody Ransom more than made up for his earlier baserunning gaffe. Ransom lifted a 2-1 pitch from lefty Justin Wilson into the bleachers in left and his sixth longball of the season gave the Cubs a 4-1 lead.
Carlos Marmol pitched a perfect eighth and Kevin Gregg tossed a scoreless ninth to nail down Edwin Jackson’s first win at Wrigley in a Cubs’ uniform.
Edwin Jackson pitched the way the Cubs hoped he would when they signed him in the off-season. Not only did Jackson complete seven innings for the first time this season, but he allowed one earned run for just the second time and recorded his second highest strikeout total of the season with his best strikeout to walk ratio. Jackson looked very sharp and comfortable on the Wrigley Field mound from his very first pitch. Jackson was able to locate his fastball for strikes, which was key. Jackson had very good velocity on his fastball and break on his slider. Jackson made only one mistake in his seven innings of work. Jackson gave up a single to Garrett Jones that plated Andrew McCutchen in the fourth inning.
Edwin Jackson allowed one run on four hits with one walk and eight strikeouts in seven innings. Jackson threw 91 pitches, 57 for strikes.
For the third time in as many days a Pirates starter took a no hitter into the fifth inning. Jeff Locke kept his no-no intact through the fifth inning but his command finally caught up to him in the sixth. The Cubs walked seven times on Sunday and the sixth free pass that Locke issued scored the tying run before he gave up his first hit.
On the day, the Cubs walked seven times, struck out seven times, collected just six hits and finished the game 1-for-5 with RISP and left eight men on base.
With Sunday’s win (3-7 on Sundays in 2013), the Cubs improved to 25-35 on the season.
Edwin Jackson retired the Pirates in order in the first inning on 10 pitches, seven strikes. Jackson looked very good and not only hit his spots but had nice life on his fastball. Jackson retired the first seven batters he faced before giving up a one-out single to Clint Barmes in the third. Locke bunted Barmes up to second base. Starling Marte was given an infield single when Angel Hernandez blew another call. Marte was called safe when replays clearly showed that Cody Ransom threw out Marte on what would have been a difficult play. Marte stole second on the first pitch to Snider. But Jackson was able to get out of the second and third, two-out jam when Snider flied out to Soriano in left to end the inning.
Even as the no-hitter remained intact and lifeless offense made feeble contact against Jeff Locke, the Cubs were still making him work. Cody Ransom and Anthony Rizzo reached on back-to-back walks in the third inning. But before Locke even through a pitch to Alfonso Soriano, Locke picked off Ransom from second base to end the inning.
The Pirates broke up the scoreless tie with back-to-back hits by McCutchen and Jones to start the fourth. Andrew McCutchen lashed a double off the wall in left (1-0 pitch) and scored on a single to center by Garrett Jones. Jackson settled down and struck out Russell Martin swinging. Pedro Alvarez grounded into a 5-3 double play to end the inning. Alvarez hit a routine grounder to Ransom in the shift. Ransom stepped on second and threw to first to end the inning.
The game remained 1-0 Pirates through the fifth inning as Jeff Locke continued mystifying the Cubs’ offense.
After Edwin Jackson worked around a two-out walk to Andrew McCutchen by catching Garrett Jones looking at a 3-2 pitch to end the sixth, the Cubs went back to work against Jeff Locke down 1-0 with five walks and no hits through five innings.
Cody Ransom walked on four pitches to start the sixth. The Pirates shifted for Rizzo, who worked a full count. Anthony Rizzo grounded out to Neil Walker in the shift. Rizzo was thrown out at first but Ransom saw no one was covering third and took the extra base. With the infield in, one out and the Pirates up 1-0, Locke wanted nothing to do with Soriano and walked him.
With runners on first and third, Scott Hairston lifted a 3-1 pitch to deep center. McCutchen caught the ball and Ransom tagged and scored the tying run. The Cubs tied up the game without a hit.
Dioner Navarro pulled a 2-1 pitch into left and broke up Locke’s no hit bid. With runners on first and second with two down, Clint Hurdle went to his pen for lefty Justin Wilson. Castro struck out swinging to end the inning.
Edwin Jackson retired the Pirates in order in the seventh … and the game went to the home half tied up at one.
Ryan Sweeney led off the seventh with a single off lefty Justin Wilson. Julio Borbon hit for Jackson and dropped down a bunt toward third on a 1-2 pitch. Pedro Alvarez fielded the ball and made an excellent off balance throw to second and nailed Sweeney for the first out. Darwin Barney blooped a 1-1 pitch into right. The ball fell in front of Snider and Borbon beat the throw to second. Ransom stepped to the plate with two on and one out in a tie game.
Cody Ransom got a 2-1 pitch up into the breeze. The wind grabbed the ball and it ended up in the bleachers in left center. Ransom’s sixth longball of the season, a three-run homer, gave the Cubs a 4-1 lead.
Alfonso Soriano pulled Watson’s first pitch into left and stole second with Hairston at the plate. Scott Hairston popped a 3-2 pitch into shallow right center that Snider hauled in to end the inning.
After seven complete, the Cubs had a 4-1 lead.
Carlos Marmol struck out two of the three batters he faced in the eighth. The Cubs failed to tack on in the eighth and Kevin Gregg took over in the ninth with the Cubs up 4-1.
Andrew McCutchen singled to right center with one out but tried to steal second on the first pitch to Garrett Jones. Dioner Navarro threw out McCutchen for the second out. Jones then pulled a 1-2 pitch to deep right. The ball hit off the vines and Jones ended up with a two-out double. Gregg caught Russell Martin looking at a 2-2 pitch to end the game.
The Cubs begin a four-game series at Wrigley against the Reds on Monday night … Scott Feldman versus Homer Bailey in the opener.