National League Game Summary - Chicago at Pittsburgh|
(Tuesday, May 21st)
Final Score: Pittsburgh 5, Chicago 4
Pittsburgh, PA (Sports Network) - Travis Snider's pinch-hit grand slam in
the sixth inning lifted the Pittsburgh Pirates past the Chicago Cubs, 5-4, in
the opener of a three-game set at PNC Park.
Pedro Alvarez added an RBI and Neil Walker went 1-for-2 with a double, three
walks and a run scored for the Pirates, winners in six of their last seven
Wandy Rodriguez (5-2) gave up three runs on six hits while striking out five
over six innings to earn the win. Jason Grilli picked up his 18th save despite
allowing a run in the ninth inning.
Matt Garza, who made his first start since July 21, 2012, carried a no-hitter
into the fifth inning until giving up a base hit to Clint Barmes. It was the
only hit the right-hander allowed over five scoreless frames. He also struck
out five and walked three while driving in a pair with a double.
Garza missed the second half of the last season because of stress reaction in
his right elbow, and his return was further delayed after the 29-year-old
suffered a left lat strain in spring training.
"He was really good. He had a really good slider tonight and had really good
command. When he was missing it was by just very little. He was outstanding
for his first night back," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said.
Darwin Barney went 4-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored and Starlin Castro
drove in a run for the Cubs, who have dropped four of their last six games.
The Cubs pushed three runs across in the second inning to jump out to an early
lead. With runners on the corners and two outs, Barney punched a base hit
through the hole on the left side to score Alfonso Soriano. Garza followed
with a double to right field to bring Welington Castillo and Barney around.
The Pirates scored all five of their runs in the sixth inning. Walker opened
the frame with a double to right field and Garrett Jones singled to put
runners on the corners. Russell Martin followed with a walk to load the bases,
chasing reliever Hector Rondon from the game. Fellow bullpen mate James
Russell (1-1) didn't fare much better, walking Alvarez to force in a run.
Russell was quickly replaced by Shawn Camp, who was able to get Gaby Sanchez
to fly out to short left field for the second out of the inning. The Bucs
called on Snider to hit for Barmes, and the lefty just cleared the fence in
right-center field for his first-career grand slam.
"Camp made a mistake and left it up in the zone. I was able to get just enough
of it and sneak it over the wall and come through," Snider said.
The Cubs were able to get a run in the ninth, but Grilli stranded runners on
the corners to nail down the win. Barney stroked a one-out triple to left and
Julio Borbon worked a two-out walk. Castro then placed a single to right field
to bring Barney around.
Grilli, though, struck out Anthony Rizzo to end the game.
The Pirates are 25-0 when leading after eight innings this season ...
Pittsburgh's starters have gone 4-0 over the last six games ... Castro has
appeared in 240-conecutive games, the longest active streak in the National
League ... To make room for Garza, the Cubs designated pitcher Michael Bowden
for assignment. Right-hander Carlos Villanueva will move to the bullpen to
accommodate Garza in the starting rotation.
05/22 01:45:57 ET