It started with Emilio Bonifacio hitting a ground ball and never leaving the batter’s box with a rib injury. And it never really got any better from there.
On a night when they had their ace, Jeff Samardzija, on the mound with a chance to gain a road split against a division rival – the Cubs put up a bagel and left Pittsburgh losers of three of four after being shut out 4-0 in a rain-delayed game on Thursday night at PNC Park.
Samardzija (2-6, 2.77) wasn’t his normal self – yielding four runs in his six innings of work – and the Cubs’ offense was in hibernation most of the night. That, combined with a stellar outing from Pirates starter Edinson Volquez (4-5, 3.89), sent the Cubs onto a charter to Philadelphia licking their wounds.
Reigning NL MVP Andrew McCutchen continued his hot streak with a two-run double in the fifth that made it 4-0. Pirates catcher Russell Martin gave the Pirates a 1-0 lead in the fourth with a bloop ground-rule double down the right field line. McCutchen had two doubles in the game and is hitting .428 this month.
Samardzija has been out-of-this world good at Wrigley Field this season, but on the road has been mortal. His ERA at home is 1.64 – on the road it is now 3.79.
The Cubs head to Philadelphia for a visit with Ryne Sandberg‘s last-place Phillies this weekend. Tomorrow night Jake Arrieta (1-1, 2.50) will take the ball for the Cubs tomorrow night – he will face off against Roberto Hernandez (2-4, 4.35). The Phils are 28-36 on the year and only 15-19 at home, so it’s a chance for the Cubs to right the ship a bit before continuing the road trip in Miami with a three-game set against the Marlins.
First pitch tomorrow night is set for 6:05 CST – the game will be televised on ComCast SportsNet and will be broadcast on radio on WGN AM 720.
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