PITTSBURGH (AP) — Alex Avila knocked an RBI triple in the ninth inning, capping a duel between Jose Quintana and Gerrit Cole and lifting the Chicago Cubs over the Pittsburgh Pirates 1-0 on Wednesday night.
After Cole limited Chicago to two hits over eight innings, Avila scored pinch-runner Leonys Martin from second base with a drive to the right-field corner off reliever Daniel Hudson (2-6).
The only hits against Cole were Javier Baez’s infield single in the second and John Jay’s single in the eighth. Cole struck out eight and walked four while turning in his second scoreless outing in three starts.
Quintana struck out six but allowed six hits and had to deal with baserunners in each of his six innings. The Pirates had two men on with no outs in the sixth, but Quintana got Jose Osuna to ground into a double play and a grounder from Sean Rodriguez to end the threat.
Wade Davis struck out two during a perfect ninth for his 29th save, preserving a win for Pedro Strop (4-4) and ending Pittsburgh’s four-game winning streak.
Cubs: C Willson Contreras (right hamstring) will go on a rehab assignment with Class A Myrtle Beach on Thursday. Contreras has not played since Aug 9.
Pirates: INF/OF Adam Frazier (right hamstring strain) and OF Gregory Polanco (left hamstring strain) both ran the bases and are expected to return this season, possibly as soon as this week. Polanco has been on the DL since Aug 13. Frazier has been out since Aug. 28.
Cubs: Jon Lester (9-7, 4.46 ERA) will make his second start since returning from shoulder soreness on Sept. 2. He lasted five innings and allowed four runs and eight hits in that outing.
Pirates: Jameson Taillon (7-5, 4.50) will look to build off a strong outing, when he pitched six scoreless innings.
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