Game One Hundred Forty-Seven: Cubs 3, Pirates 7
WP – Gerrit Cole (9-5) LP – Tsuyoshi Wada (4-3) Save – None
The Cubs losing skid reached a season-worst seven games Friday night in Pittsburgh. The Pirates scored runs in five of their eight at bats and answered the Cubs every time Rick Renteria’s team tried to get back into the game. The Cubs made it a one-run game in the sixth, but Tsuyoshi Wada lasted just 4 1/3 innings and the Pirates put the game away with three runs off the Cubs pen.
The Cubs dropped to 4-13 on the season against the Pirates with Friday’s loss at PNC Park.
Tsuyoshi Wada struggled Friday night and gave up four runs on nine hits with two walks and two strikeouts. Wada threw 83 pitches, 49 strikes, in 4 1/3 innings. The Pirates made little solid contact against Wada, but the balls that did not go in and out of the gloves of Cubs defenders found grass.
Justin Grimm picked up the final two outs in the fifth inning but was left in for the sixth inning on a night that he was obviously out of gas. Grimm gave up a pair of runs on three hits while recording only one out in the sixth before Renteria finally went and got him. Blake Parker recorded the last two outs in the sixth and Zac Rosscup pitched a scoreless seventh.
The Pirates scored a run in the eighth off Brian Schlitter after Andrew McCutchen reached on a two-out double and scored on a Neil Walker single to left center. The Pirates scored seven times on 14 hits while the Cubs managed three runs on seven hits in the loss.
Javier Baez (1-for-4 with a home run) put the Cubs on the board with a solo shot in the fourth inning. Baez’s eighth home run of the season and first since Aug. 23 made it a 2-1 game. Arismendy Alcantara (2-for-4 with a home run) cut the Pirates lead to 3-2 in the fifth with a solo shot of his own and Welington Castillo (2-for-4 with a RBI) drove in Chris Coghlan (0-for-3 with a walk and a run scored) with the Cubs’ third run in the sixth.
The Cubs loaded the bases with two outs in the sixth after making it a one-run game. But Alcantara fouled out to end the inning and the Pirates put the game away in the home half. The Cubs scored three times on seven hits with only one walk and 12 strikeouts.
With Friday night’s loss, the Cubs slipped to 64-83 on the season.
After the Cubs went down in order on 13 pitches, nine strikes, in the first inning, Josh Harrison led off the Pirates’ first with a single to right center (3-2 pitch). Jordy Mercer grounded into a 5-4-3 double play but Andrew McCutchen lined a single over Baez into left center. Wada got out of the inning when Neil Walker grounded out to Baez. Tsuyoshi Wada threw 16 pitches, 11 strikes, in the first inning.
The game went to the second without a score.
Gerrit Cole made quick work of the Cubs in the second inning (25 pitches, 18 strikes, after two innings) and the Pirates started dinking and dumping against Wada in the home half. Jose Tabata flied out to right for the first out. Gaby Sanchez blooped a double into right center that Ryan Kalish ran in and made a diving catch but as he rolled over the ball popped out of his glove. Snider grounded out to first, Sanchez advanced to third and scored when Chris Stewart blooped a single into center. Watkins ran out and caught the ball, but as he fell to the ground his glove hit his knee and the ball popped out … 1-0 Pirates. Wada struck out Cole swinging to end the inning. Wada needed 32 pitches, 22 strikes, to complete two innings.
After two complete, the Cubs trailed 1-0.
Arismendy Alcantara reached on an infield single to start the third. Alcantara rolled a 2-1 pitch off the end of his bat, back up the middle through Cole’s legs. Mercer fielded the ball, but had no shot at the speedy Alcantara. Cole retired Watkins on a flyout to center, struck out Wada on a bunt attempt and Coghlan grounded out to second for the third out … 39 pitches for Cole after three innings, 26 strikes.
The Pirates added to their lead in the bottom of the third. Harrison led off with a bloop single to left center (3-2 pitch). Jordy Mercer singled to left center (2-0 pitch) and Andrew McCutchen stepped in with two on and no outs. McCutchen flied out to deep left for the first out. Neil Walker poked a 1-1 pitch into left. Harrison scored, 2-0 Pirates. Jose Tabata hit a slow roller to the hole at short. Valbuena cut the ball off and tried to start a 5-4-3 double play. Walker was forced at second, but Tabata beat Watkins’ throw to first. With runners on the corners and two out, Sanchez grounded out to Baez for the third out. Wada threw 53 pitches, 36 strikes, in three innings.
The Cubs trailed 2-0 after three innings.
Javier Baez led off the fourth and pulled a 2-2 pitch to deep left. The ball sailed out of PNC and Baez’s first home run since Aug. 23 put the Cubs on the board. Cole retired Valbuena (pop out to third), Castillo (grounder to second) and Kalish (flyout to left) to end the inning. Cole needed 56 pitches, 38 strikes, to complete four innings.
The Pirates offense got the run right back for Cole in the home half. Wada walked Travis Snider to start the fourth. Stewart grounded out to third, Snider advanced to second and Cole struck out swinging. Wada walked Harrison and put runners on first and second with two outs. Mercer singled to center, Snider scored the Pirates went back up by two runs, 3-1. Andrew McCutchen popped the first pitch he saw into right center to end the inning.
After four innings, the Pirates led 3-1.
Arismendy Alcantara cut the Pirates lead to 3-2 in the fifth. Alcantara hit his ninth home run of the season, a solo shot over the 21 foot wall in right. But that was all for the Cubs in the fifth. Gerrit Cole threw 70 pitches, 49 strikes, in five innings.
The Pirates once again got the run right back that the Cubs scored in the top half of the inning. Walker popped out to Baez for the first out. Jose Tabata drove a 1-0 pitch from Wada to deep right. Kalish raced back but the ball hit off the top of his glove then Kalish kicked it after the ball hit off the wall. Tabata ended up at third with a triple. Renteria popped out of the dugout and went to his pen for Justin Grimm. Clint Hurdle countered with Ike Davis for Gaby Sanchez. Davis drove a 2-2 pitch to left. Coghlan’s first step was back and by the time he corrected himself he had to run in and make a lunging catch. After Coghlan hit the ground, Tabata tagged and scored … 4-2 Pirates. Grimm struck out Snider swinging to end the inning.
The Prates led 4-2 after five innings.
Chris Coghlan worked a walk against Cole to start the sixth. Baez flied out to center, but Luis Valbuena blooped a single into left. Coghlan held at second with one out. Welington Castillo ripped a 2-2 pitch into center. Coghlan scored, 4-3 Pirates. Ryan Kalish pulled a 0-1 pitch up the first baseline. Ike Davis fielded the ball and threw to second to force Castillo. Cole plunked Olt to load the bases with two outs. Arismendy Alcantara put himself into a hitter’s count (3-1) before he fouled out to Stewart near the on deck circle to end the inning.
The Pirates put the game away against Justin Grimm in the sixth. Stewart led off with a bloop single to center. Andrew Lambo hit for Cole and flied out to center. Josh Harrison singled to center and put runners on first and second with one out. But both Stewart and Harrison moved up ninety feet on a ball in the dirt to Mercer. Renteria brought his infield in with one down and men on second and third. Mercer singled to right past a drawn in infield. Stewart and Harrison scored, 6-3 Pirates. McCutchen hit a two-hopper toward third on a 3-0 pitch. Valbuena fielded the ball and made an accurate throw to second. Logan Watkins dropped the ball and the Pirates had runners on first and second with one out. Renteria made the blow walk and replaced Grimm with Blake Parker. Walker struck out swinging. Hurdle went to his bench and sent up Gregory Polanco to hit for Tabata. And Parker struck out Polanco swinging to end the inning.
The Cubs were down by three, 6-3, after six innings.
The Cubs did nothing in the seventh or eighth inning against the Pirates pen and the game went to the bottom of the eighth with the Pirates ahead by three runs. Brian Schlitter replaced Zac Rosscup and retired Harrison and Mercer on back-to-back grounders to Baez for the first two outs. Andrew McCutchen doubled to center and scored on a single to left center by Neil Walker, 7-3 Pirates. Gregory Polanco grounded out to Olt at first to end the inning.
The game went to the ninth with the Cubs down 7-3.
Mike Olt led off the ninth with a double off John Axford, but he did not advance and was stranded at second when Matt Szczur struck out swinging to end the game.
Felix Doubront is scheduled to face Jeff Locke under the lights on Saturday night (6:05pm CDT).