Pittsburgh Pirates fall 5-2 to Kris Bryant, Chicago Cubs


4. 5. 9. Final. 2

Miscues late cost Pirates in 5-2 loss to Cubs

A.J. Burnett was stellar once again, but prospect Kris Bryant led the Chicago Cubs to a 5-2 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates in Monday’s series opener at PNC Park, going 3-for-4 with three runs batted in.

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Burnett turned in six innings of one-run ball, although he struck out just one batter, throwing 91 pitches in the no-decision. On the year, the veteran right-hander has turned in at least at least five innings in three-straight starts, including six-plus in his past two outings. Despite his performance, things faded fast for the Bucs down the stretch – due, in part, to Bryant.

After tying the game with an opposite-field RBI single in the fifth against Burnett, Bryant stepped to the dish in the top of the seventh against Arquimedes Caminero, delivering one of the most unusual plays you’ll probably see this year.

The Cubs’ third baseman launched a ball off the base of the left-center field wall, scoring Jorge Soler and Anthony Rizzo. The relay throw from shortstop to home went off the glove of Francisco Cervelli, which allowed Rizzo to score and prompted Bryant to get gutsy and round third hard, heading for home.

A throw to third had Bryant caught in a rundown, but the throw from Josh Harrison back to Cervelli went off his glove (again), allowing Bryant to slide in for what has since been deemed a “little league home run,” putting the Cubs up 4-1.

Jonathan Herrera added an insurance run in the top of the eighth for Chicago (7-5) and despite a ninth-inning solo shot by Starling Marte, the Bucs were unable to mount a comeback against the Cubs pen after being dominated by Jake Arrieta all night-long.

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Arrieta (2-1, 1.74 ERA) settled in yet-again after allowing a first-inning run on an Andrew McCutchen single, as that would be the only run allowed by the right-hander, who has emerged as one of the best arms in the entire National League.

Earning his 500th strikeout of his career in the win, Arrieta scattered just four hits across seven innings, striking out seven. He did not walk a batter.

What’s Next:

Pittsburgh will look to bounce back in a matchup of left-handers on Tuesday, as the Pirates take on Chicago at home behind Francisco Liriano.

The Cubs will counter with a lefty of their own, Travis Wood, and their lineup will feature new second baseman and top prospect Addison Russell. First pitch is set for 6:05 p.m. CT.

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