The Chicago Cubs struggled to produce offensively as they dropped the series opener 4-2 to the Pittsburgh Pirates.
After winning their third straight series of the 2017 season, the Chicago Cubs (6-4) had a hard time getting the bats rolling against the Pittsburgh Pirates (4-6) on Friday. The Cubs got RBI singles from Ben Zobrist and Kyle Schwarber midway through the game, but that was all they were able to muster.
Pirates pitcher Gerrit Cole (1-1) was 0-1 with a 6.55 ERA in his first two starts of the season but made it a comeback effort at Wrigley. The Pittsburgh ace gave up two runs on six hits and a walk over six innings of work, striking out five.
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After a Kris Bryant double in the fourth inning, right fielder Ben Zobrist drove him in with a RBI single, giving the Cubs their first run of the ballgame and tying things up.
The fifth inning got rolling with a one-out double from Javier Baez, who was driven home by a Kyle Schwarber RBI single. Unfortunately for the Cubs, this was the extent of their scoring.
The Pirates tied the game back up at two runs apiece in the top of the sixth inning when David Freese hit an RBI single to drive in Andrew McCutchen. In the same inning, Pirates catcher Francisco Cervelli doubled to right, bringing in two more runs, giving the Pirates a permanent lead.
The Cubs made rallying efforts in both the eighth and ninth innings but were unable to push any runs across. The Pirates won 4-2.
Hendricks takes the loss
The loss went to Kyle Hendricks (1-1), who gave up three runs on six hits and two walks across five innings of work, striking out three in the process.
Coming off a rough first start of the season (even though he got the win), Hendricks was unable to bounce back in his second start. His command wasn’t as sharp as it normally is, as he often caught too much of the plate.
Hendricks has now given up seven earned runs in 11 innings of work to start the season. He’ll look to get back on track in his next start against the Milwaukee Brewers.