National League Game Summary - Pittsburgh at Chicago|
(Saturday, September 15th)
Final Score: Pittsburgh 7, Chicago 6
Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - Andrew McCutchen and Clint Barmes each hit solo
home runs, and the Pittsburgh Pirates snapped a season-high seven-game losing
streak with a 7-6 victory over the Chicago Cubs despite a shaky ninth-inning
performance from Joel Hanrahan.
The Cubs scored twice off the Pirates closer and had the winning run on second
base before Hanrahan struck out Dave Sappelt to close out the much-needed win.
Starling Marte doubled, tripled, drove in a run and scored twice for the
Pirates, who were mired in a 5-17 slump since winning a 19-inning marathon in
St. Louis on Aug. 19.
Wandy Rodriguez helped end the swoon, which had dropped Pittsburgh three games
back in the race for the last NL wild-card spot, with a quality
start. Rodriguez (11-13) scattered nine hits and three runs -- one earned --
over six innings to earn the win.
"Today I didn't have my best stuff," Rodriguez said. "I used a lot of my 2-
seamer because it's the only pitch I had that I felt comfortable. When I used
my curveball, I missed a lot today."
Jason Berken (0-1), making his first big-league start since Oct. 2, 2009, was
touched for six runs -- just two earned -- on eight hits in four innings of
work for the Cubs, who had won six of seven coming into the second meeting of
this four-game series.
"He couldn't really find the strike zone," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said of
Hanrahan, in his first save opportunity since Aug. 17, put the first two
hitters on in the ninth and gave up a one-out, RBI single to Alfonso Soriano
to make it a 7-5 game.
Starlin Castro flew out to deep right-center for the second out before
consecutive walks to Welington Castillo and Luis Valbuena forced in a run.
Hanrahan shook off the rust just in time, as he got Sappelt to swing through a
2-2 pitch to pick up his 35th save.
Marte scored on Garrett Jones' sacrifice fly in the first inning, and three
straight singles to start the second, the last a line drive off the left-field
wall by Rod Barajas, made it 2-0.
McCutchen took Berken deep for his 28th home run leading off the third, and
after Anthony Rizzo's RBI single in the bottom half, the Pirates tacked on
three runs -- all with two outs -- in the fourth.
Barmes, who reached on Josh Vitters' throwing error, scored on a triple by
Marte, who trotted home on Travis Snider's base hit. Snider moved to second on
McCutchen's single and crossed the plate when Jones doubled to left.
The Cubs scored twice in the fifth, one coming on Soriano's run-scoring base
Alberto Cabrera served up Barmes' homer to left field in the seventh, and the
Jason Grilli allowed an RBI single to Luis Valbuena in the home eighth.
Rodriguez has recorded a 1.83 ERA (seven earned run in 34 1/3 innings) over
his last six appearances ... The Pirates had dropped 10 straight road games
... Pirates second baseman Neil Walker returned to the starting lineup for the
first time since Aug. 26 and went 0-for-5. He was sidelined with lower back
tightness ... Berken was claimed off waivers from the Orioles last week. He
has spent the majority of this season with Triple-A Norfolk, going 5-6 with a
3.50 ERA in 26 starts.
09/15 20:43:30 ET