Travis Wood struggles as Chicago Cubs fall to Pittsburgh Pirates 5-3


Travis Wood struggled to keep his pitch count down, reaching 99 before he could get the final out in the fifth, as the Chicago Cubs (31-40)  fell to the Pittsburgh Pirates (35-38) 5-3 on Saturday night.

Anthony Rizzo hit a go-ahead, two-run home run in the fourth, but Wood (7-6, 4.55) and the bullpen couldn’t hold the Pirates at bay, pun intended.

Andrew McCutchen chased Wood with an RBI single, and Josh Harrison added a two-run home run in the seventh after the Pirates successfully challenged a call at first base.

Gregory Polanco hit a rocket to Starlin Castro that he fielded cleanly, but took his time making the spin to throw to first. The call on the field was safe, but Polanco clearly beat the throw, as review would confirm.

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The Cubs would get a surprise RBI double from Eli Whiteside to score Darwin Barney to cut the lead to 5-3, but the Pirates’ bullpen would shut the door the rest of the way to help give starter Vance Worley (1-0, 1.98) the win. Worley, who is up due to the injuries to Francisco Liriano and Gerrit Cole, is making his case to stick around when they return. He went 6 2/3 innings, allowing three runs on three hits while striking out four.

The night did not fare as well for Travis Wood, who was only able to go 4 2/3 innings, allowing three runs on three hits to go along with three walks, which led to the high number of pitches.

Mark Melancon, who has taken over for Jason Grilli after he was pulled from the closers role, pitched a perfect ninth for the save.

The Cubs will be looking for the series win on Sunday as Jason Hammel (6-4, 3.02) will take on Brandon Cumpton (2-2, 5.82) in a 1:20 pm CT start time at Wrigley Field.