The Cubs were able to extend their modest winning streak to four games against the Pirates Friday night by holding on to win a seesaw contest at PNC Park. Pittsburgh took the lead in the bottom of the 1st inning on an RBI single by the red-hot Bryan Reynolds. Patrick Wisdom then put the Cubs ahead with a long two-run home run off Bryse Wilson in the 2nd.
Jack Suwinski hit a solo dinger in the bottom of the frame to tie the score, then Javier Assad gave up a pair of RBI doubles in the bottom of the 3rd inning and the Pirates went back up 4-2. The Cubs were able to take advantage of another sloppy inning from Pittsburgh to retake the lead.
Wil Crowe took over in the 6th and loaded the bases on two walks and a single. Franmil Reyes drew a walk to force in a run and Crowe was pulled for Manny Banuelos, who walked Zach McKinstry to even the score. Esteban Quiroz then beat out an infield hit to give the Cubs a 5-4 edge.
Reynolds, who else, again tied the score with a solo blast against Manny Rodriguez in the 7th. Quiroz would not be denied, however, and the diminutive infielder slapped a go-ahead RBI single to left field in the top of the 8th inning.
Erich Uelmen came in with a chance to earn his first career save in the 9th inning. Things got pretty dicey with a single and two walks — one of which was intentional — but the young pitcher was able to strand the bases loaded and seal the win. (Box score)
Why the Cubs Won
This was a very messy game and the Cubs made just enough plays to pull out the win.
Eye on the Future
- It was a struggle for Assad on Friday night: 4 IP, 4 R, 3 ER, 4 H, 2 K , and 3 BB.
- Jared Young had a hit and two walks.
- Wisdom was ejected in the 7th for apparently arguing a strike call.
- Quiroz is really making the most of his cup of coffee in the major leagues.
- The Cubs walked nine times Friday.
This game really had the feeling of a spring training affair with all the pinch hitters and interesting pitcher usage. Still, it is fun to win a game no matter what the circumstances.