It’s been a rough week for the Chicago Cubs (65-83), who entered tonight’s game against the Pittsburgh Pirates (78-70) with a seven game losing streak shadowing their every move.
Cubs’ rookies Javier Baez and Matt Sczcur both went deep during tonight’s ballgame – Baez’s second home run (also his ninth of the year) in as many games was a two run shot to left field during the top of the third that would give his team the 2-0 lead early on. With the struggling Cubs holding a solid 5-0 lead into the top of the eighth inning, Sczcur launched a fly ball to left field to make it a 6-0 ballgame, his first Major League home-run and would finish the night 2-4 at the plate.
Tonight’s performance by starting pitcher Felix Doubront has to be one of his best since debuting with the Cubs. Doubront’s (4-5, 5.00 ERA) outing ran into the sixth inning before he was relieved by Dan Strailey, holding the Pirates to just four hits with one walk, and strikeout as he was in line to pick up the victory.
Pittsburgh stormed back during the bottom half of the eighth inning, hammering Strailey for three runs (all earned) off three hits while he issued one walk. Chicago’s bullpen has struggled during the final couple innings in their seven game losing streak, but held it together against the Pirates.
Veteran catcher Russell Martin recorded a bases loaded double off Strailey to make it a 6-3, it was his 18th double on the year as he finished tonight’s game 2-3. Hector Rondon took the mound during the bottom of the ninth inning looking to slam the door on this seven game losing streak but wouldn’t do so without making things interesting.
Pirates outfielder Travis Snyder hit lead off home run to right center field, his 11th home run of the season brought the Bucs within two in hopes of the guys behind him could put together a rally but wouldn’t answer the call. Rondon struck out Brent Morel, got Josh Harrison to pop out to Mike Olt, and had Jordy Mercer ground out to shortstop Baez to record his 24th save.
The Cubs will look to take the series away from the Pirates in the final meeting of the year between these two teams tomorrow afternoon as Jacob Turner (1-2, 5.31 ERA) takes on Edinson Volquez (11-7, 3.36 ERA) take the mound.