Game Nineteen – Cubs 6, Pirates 2
WP – Travis Wood (2-1) LP – Jeff Locke (2-1) Save – None
The Cubs extended the winning streak to four games Tuesday night with a rather impressive win over the Pirates. The Cubs scored all six runs on two-out basehits from Addison Russell, Dexter Fowler, Junior Lake, Kris Bryant and Starlin Castro. And Travis Wood made one mistake in seven innings of work as the Cubs took game two of the three-game series from the Pirates at the old ballyard.
Tuesday night was another fun game to watch from a Cubs’ standpoint. Not only did the team knock in all six runs with two-out basehits, but the Cubs pulled off two double steals in the same inning, were five for seven in stolen bases on the night and played excellent defense. Joe Maddon was 2-for-3 on replay challenges and the first call (2-for-6) the Cubs had overturned this season led to the first run of the game.
Starlin Castro (3-for-5 with a RBI and two runs scored) led off the second and smoked a one hopper toward short. Jordy Mercer knocked the ball down and fired to first base. Castro was called out, but Maddon asked the umps to take another look, the call was overturned and Junior Lake (2-for-5 with a double, a RBI and a run scored) followed with a single.
Addison Russell (1-for-3 with a double, a walk, a RBI and a run scored) put the Cubs on the board with a double to left on a 2-1 pitch with two down that plated Castro. Dexter Fowler (3-for-4 with two RBI and a HBP) followed with a single to right. Lake and Russell scored and the Cubs took a 3-0 lead. Fowler ended up at third but was stranded when Rizzo grounded out to second in the shift to end the inning.
The Cubs added to the lead in the third inning after Starlin Castro reached on a throwing error by Josh Harrison. Castro hit a routine grounder to third that Harrison fielded cleanly. Harrison airmailed his throw to first, the ball went in the stands and Castro ended up at second base. Junior Lake, in his first game of the season, followed with a double to left. Castro scored and the Cubs took a 4-0 lead. After Welington Castillo was intentionally walked, Travis Wood grounded out to first base to end the inning.
After the Pirates cut the Cubs lead to 4-2 on a two-run shot by Starling Marte in the fourth, the Cubs grabbed the momentum right back in the home half of the inning.
Dexter Fowler checked his swing and blooped a single to center with one out in the fourth. Anthony Rizzo (0-for-4 with a walk, a run scored and a stolen base) walked. On a 1-1 pitch to Jorge Soler (0-for-3 with two walks and a run scored), Fowler and Rizzo pulled off a double steal. Soler hit a bouncer to third, Harrison fielded the ball and threw to the plate in time to get Fowler for the second out.
Kris Bryant (1-for-4 with a walk and a RBI) singled to left center. Rizzo scored and the Cubs took a 5-2 lead. Clint Hurdle decided that was enough for Jeff Locke and went to his pen for Antonio Bastardo.
With runners on the corners and two down, Starlin Castro singled to right on a 2-1 pitch. Soler scored, 6-2 Cubs. On a 0-2 pitch to Junior Lake, Kris Bryant and Starlin Castro swiped second and third base. But Lake flied out to right center to end the inning.
The fourth inning of Tuesday night’s game was the first time since Aug. 23, 1997 in Montreal the Cubs stole four bases in the same inning.
All 10 of the Cubs runs in the first two games of the series have scored on two-out hits.
The Cubs scored six runs on 12 hits with six walks and a hit by pitch on Tuesday night with eight strikeouts. The Cubs were not able to add onto the lead after the fourth inning, but didn’t have to thanks to the performance turned in by Travis Wood.
Travis Wood had a very good game and really set the tone for the night. The Pirates did not manage their first hit until the fourth inning, and that was an infield single by Andrew McCutchen that Starlin Castro almost turned into an out. Wood’s only mistake in his seven innings of work came two batters after McCutchen’s infield single. Starling Marte hit a two-run homer to left.
Travis Wood allowed five hits and only six baserunners reached base against him. Wood struck out a season-high nine batters and did not walk a batter. Wood threw 90 pitches, 62 for strikes, over seven innings.
Zac Rosscup pitched a perfect eighth and Jason Motte set the Pirates down in order in the ninth.
With Tuesday’s win, the Cubs improved to 12-7 on the season.
The Cubs and Pirates wrap up the three game series Wednesday night (7:05pm CDT). Kyle Hendricks is scheduled to face Pirates ace Gerrit Cole.