PITTSBURGH (AP) — Max Moroff and David Freese delivered RBI singles off Carl Edwards Jr. in the eighth inning as the Pittsburgh Pirates rallied past the Chicago Cubs 4-3 on Tuesday night.
John Jaso led off the eighth with a pinch-hit walk then later scored when Moroff hit a bloop single to left off Edwards (3-4) to tie the game. Freese drove home Moroff three batters later after the Cubs intentionally walked Pirates rookie Josh Bell.
Jordan Luplow hit the second home run of his career for Pittsburgh. Wade LeBlanc (5-2) earned the win in relief. Felipe Rivero worked a perfect ninth for his 18th save. The Pirates ran their winning streak to four on the same day the club announced contract extensions for manager Clint Hurdle and general manager Neal Huntington.
Ian Happ had a two-run single for Chicago. Alberto Almora Jr. and Kris Bryant had two hits apiece but the Cubs left eight men on base to drop their third consecutive game.
The Pirates are out of it heading into the final month of the season but the team made a commitment to staying the course when it signed Hurdle and Huntington to new deals that will carry through the 2021 season. The two helped the franchise shake 20 years of losing by running off three straight playoff berths from 2013-15. Though the postseason is a long shot at this point, Pittsburgh is getting significant contributions from its younger players down the stretch.
Four starters on Tuesday night were rookies. Three of them – Moroff, Luplow and Elias Dias – had hits and the other – Bell – reached base to set up Freese. Pittsburgh improved to 6-63 when trailing after seven innings.
Chicago’s Kyle Hendricks allowed two runs and five hits in 6 2/3 innings. He struck out two and didn’t walk a batter, his only significant misstep the two-run shot he allowed to Luplow in the second.
Happ, a Pittsburgh native, gave Chicago the lead right back with a two-run single off Pittsburgh starter Steven Brault in the third. Brault, the first left-handed pitcher to start for the Pirates this season, allowed three runs and eight hits in five innings.
The Cubs turned to Edwards with the tying run on base in the seventh. Edwards retired Jordy Mercer to end the threat but the Pirates pounced on him quickly in the eighth.
Cubs: RHP Jake Arrieta underwent an MRI on his right hamstring on Tuesday after leaving Monday night’s loss with what the team initially termed as a cramp. Manager Joe Maddon said Arrieta will likely have his next scheduled start pushed back regardless of the outcome of the exam. If Arrieta can’t go on Saturday against Milwaukee, Mike Montgomery will get the start in Arrieta’s place.
Pirates: RHP George Kontos (right groin strain) pitched a simulated game on Tuesday and is nearing a return from the 10-day disabled list. … RF Gregory Polanco (left hamstring strain) had a “work day” but it’s still uncertain when or even if Polanco will play again this season.
Cubs: Jose Quintana (5-3, 4.50 ERA with Chicago, 9-11, 4.49 ERA overall) goes for his second victory over Pittsburgh in a week on Wednesday. Quintana allowed three runs over six innings in a 17-3 romp over the Pirates at Wrigley Field last Wednesday.
Pirates: Gerrit Cole (11-9, 4.11) takes a career 9-3 record against the Cubs into Wednesday’s game. Cole is 1-1 with a 2.38 ERA in two starts against Chicago this year.
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