Final Score: Chicago 4, Pittsburgh 2
Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - Darnell McDonald hit a three-run homer and the
Chicago Cubs held on Wednesday to win their last home game of the season 4-2
over the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The Pirates kept their one-game lead for the top NL wild-card spot over the
Reds, who lost to the Mets. They fell three games behind the Cardinals in the
NL Central with just three to play because St. Louis beat Washington.
Jake Arrieta (4-2) pitched six innings for the win, giving up a run, four hits
and two walks with one strikeout.
Kevin Gregg gave up an RBI triple to Jose Tabata in the ninth but struck out
two in a row to earn his 33rd save of the season.
McDonald had three hits, all off Francisco Liriano, who was trying to become
the first Pirates pitcher to win more than 16 games in 22 years. The other two
hits were doubles.
"Mac had a heck of a day off one of the best left-handed pitchers in the
game," said Cubs manager Dale Sveum. "He's done a great job for us since he's
been here. He really filled a need and a spot for us and has done a great job
in the outfield."
The Cubs went 31-50 at Wrigley Field this season. They snapped a three-game
losing streak and avoided being swept by the Pirates at home for the first
time since May 5-7, 2000.
The Pirates, off to the playoffs for the first time since 1992, will finish
their season at Cincinnati this weekend.
"We'll try to win a couple, and go from there," Pirates center fielder Andrew
McCutchen said of the team's final series before starting the postseason. "I
remember at the beginning of the season, no one gave us a chance, and now look
where we are. I'm just happy we can be there."
Liriano (16-8) struck out eight but took the loss. He gave up four runs, eight
hits and a walk in five-plus innings. John Smiley was the last Pirates pitcher
to win more than 16 games when he went 20-8 in 1991.
McDonald's first home run as a Cub gave Chicago a 4-1 lead in the sixth inning
and knocked Liriano out of the game. The homer also scored Donnie Murphy, who
led off the inning with a single, and Junior Lake, who walked.
Justin Grimm struck out two in a perfect seventh inning for the Cubs and
Pedro Strop worked around a Justin Morneau single in a scoreless eighth.
Tabata's triple in the ninth scored pinch-runner Felix Pie but Gregg fanned
Marlon Byrd and Starling Marte to end the game.
Earlier, the Cubs took a 1-0 lead in the first inning after Darwin Barney
doubled with one out and scored on Anthony Rizzo's single. The Pirates loaded
the bases with two outs in the third and Arrieta walked Morneau to force home
The Pirates went 12-7 against the Cubs this season, including a three-game
sweep from May 21-23 ...The Cubs are 4-10 in their last 14 games.
09/25 23:26:35 ET
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