The Chicago Cubs (46-20) got home runs from Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant and David Ross, the latter proving to be the game winner. The bullpen did the rest, holding the Pittsburgh Pirates (33-35) to one hit in the final three innings and leading the Cubs to a 4-3 win (Box Score).
Jon Lester (9-3, 2.06 ERA) was good on a night when being good would be just enough. He got out of two big jams in the game, saving what could have been disaster from striking.
In the first inning, after a lead-off home run by Jordy Mercer, Lester issued two straight walks before David Ross gunned down Andrew McCutchen trying to steal third base.
The Pirates loaded the bases in the fourth inning off three consecutive hits with no outs. They only managed to score one run though, when Lester plunked Jordy Mercer. Lester struck out three batters in the inning to extinguish the threat with minimal damage.
Stats that mattered
- Three. The number of home runs the Cubs got off their six hits.
- 448 feet. That’s how far Bryant smashed his fifth inning home run. Another rocket-shot.
- Lester did his best to get the win – 6IP, 3R, 7H, 3BB, 7Ks, 1HR
- Anthony Rizzo is back to his normal self after a mini-slump – 2-for-3, 1R, 1RBI, 1BB
The Cubs scraped out a win when they needed it. Good situational hitting, solid pitching by Lester and great back-end work by the bullpen all combined to get the job done. The Pirates, meanwhile, fall to two games under .500 and 14 games back of the Cubs.
The Cubs go for the sweep of the Pirates on Sunday at 7:08 PM CDT on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball. Kyle Hendricks (4-6, 3.05 ERA) looks to serve notice to the Pirates, again, that they are no match for the 2016 Cubs.