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CHICAGO (AP) – Josh Harrison led off the game with a home run and Gregory Polanco hit a bases-loaded triple, leading Ivan Nova and the Pittsburgh Pirates over the Chicago Cubs 7-1 on Sunday.
Pittsburgh, which had managed a total of three runs in its previous four road games, ended its losing streak at three.
Anthony Rizzo drove in the lone run for Chicago, which had won four in a row. The Cubs trail the NL Central-leading Brewers by a half-game heading into a three-game series at Milwaukee starting on Monday.
Nova (3-5) allowed one run on four hits in 5 2/3 innings to snap a four-decision skid and pick up his first win since April 15. He was activated before the game after missing two weeks with a sprained finger.
Kyle Hendricks (4-6) gave up one run on three hits in five innings before being lifted for a pinch-hitter. The right-hander has gone beyond the fifth just once in his last five starts.
Harrison hit a 3-2 pitch into the left-field bleachers for his seventh career leadoff homer.
Pittsburgh broke the game open with a five-run sixth. Austin Meadows led off with a double against reliever Brian Duensing and one out later, Elias Diaz hit an RBI single.
After walking Josh Bell to load the bases, Duensing was replaced by Luke Farrell. The lefty-swinging Polanco greeted the right-hander by lining a 1-2 pitch into the right-field corner for a three-run triple to make it 5-0. Jordy Mercer followed with a single.
Rizzo’s RBI groundout in the bottom of the sixth made it 6-1.
Pittsburgh added a run in the eighth on an RBI groundout by pinch-hitter David Freese.
To make room for Nova, the Pirates optioned RHP Nick Kingham to Triple-A Indianapolis. Pittsburgh also recalled catcher Jacob Stallings from Indianapolis and optioned OF/INF Adam Frazier.
Pirates: C Francisco Cervelli wasn’t in the lineup after being struck in the left jaw by a foul tip on Saturday. “I’m OK It’s just a bruise,” he said. “I’ll be ready soon.”
Cubs: When asked if RHP Yu Darvish (right triceps tendinitis) would return before the All-Star break, manager Joe Maddon said, “I don’t know.” Darvish is playing catch but has yet to throw off the mound.
Pirates: RHP Joe Musgrove (2-1, 1.89 ERA) starts the opener of a three-game series at Arizona on Monday. Musgrove won his first two starts before losing against the Dodgers last time out. LHP Patrick Corbin (6-2, 2.87) goes for the D-Backs.
Cubs: LHP Jose Quintana (6-4, 4.20 ERA) pitches the opener at Milwaukee on Monday night. Quintana has a streak of 24 scoreless innings against the Brewers and will face RHP Junior Guerra (3-4, 2.83).
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