The Chicago Cubs continued to pour it on their National League Central rival, Pittsburgh Pirates by hammering two big flies. Jake Arrieta was tagged early but settled in, picking up his seventh win.
Despite the weather dropping down to nearly 40 degrees, fans managed to sell out Game 2 of this weekend series between the Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates. And, like in Pittsburgh, the Cubbies emerged victorious, claiming the series.
Arrieta, who picked up a no-decision in his previous start, limited the Pirates (18-17) to two runs on three hits, two walks, and 11 strikeouts in eight innings of work.
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Right fielder Jason Heyward led off the bottom of the fourth inning with an infield single to second baseman Josh Harrison. Harrison was playing behind the infield and had to charge in, in order to make an attempt at first.
Following Heyward’s single, third baseman Kris Bryant worked a six-pitch walk, giving the Cubs two on and no outs with Rizzo due up behind him. Rizzo has been locked in on Pirates starter Jeff Locke (1-3, 5.45 ERA) in his career and continued to swing a hot bat against him.
On the second pitch of the at-bat, Rizzo turned on an 83 mile per hour changeup and sent it out to deep right field, giving the Cubs a one-run lead. It’s his 11th big fly of the season which leads the Cubs in that category.
With Arrieta cruising through Pittsburgh’s lineup, Russell’s two-run homer came two innings later, giving the Cubs a three-run lead and knocking Locke out of the game. Clint Hurdle‘s bullpen was unable to stop the bleeding.
Center fielder Dexter Fowler padded the lead with an RBI single in the same inning. Bryant and Rizzo made it an 8-2 deficit by driving in a run apiece with singles off A.J. Schugel in the eighth inning, leading the way for Justin Grimm to put some work in on the mound.