The Pittsburgh Pirates’ offense rebounded from a poor showing on Tuesday night to hit Dan Haren and the Chicago Cubs hard in a 7-5 victory on Wednesday. After getting shutout by Jake Arieta, the Pirates welcomed Dan Haren in his Cubs’ debut by chasing him after five innings.
Jeff Locke started for the Pirates, and it seems that the team always manages to battle offensively when Locke’s on the mound. Locke didn’t have a good outing for the Pirates, and received a no-decision on the night. He went 5.2 innings, allowing four runs on just four hits and a walk. He did, however, give up three of those runs on two home runs in the sixth inning. When Locke is allowed to pitch deep into games, he tends to give up runs later on.
Dan Haren didn’t fare well either, lasting just five innings while giving up four runs (three earned) on seven hits and two walks. He also gave up two runs on the night and received a no-decision.
The Pirates were able to go up 2-0 early in the first inning, beginning when Gregory Polanco led off with a solo home run to right field. Pedro Alvarez singled later in the inning, scoring another run, but the team may have scored more if Aramis Ramirez wasn’t thrown out at the plate. Andrew McCutchen had a solo shot of his own in the third inning making the score 3-0 Pirates.
But the Cubs would storm back. After the teams traded runs in the fourth and fifth innings, the Cubs hit two home runs in the sixth inning of the bats of Kyle Schwarber and Anthony Rizzo, the latter of whom is wrecking the Pirates this year, tying the score at four. However, the Pirates would answer with two runs in the bottom of the inning, which would be all the runs they would need. Mark Melancon did give up a run in the ninth, but Pittsburgh would win the contest by a final score of 7-5.
What Stood Out
After only getting four hits and shutout the previous night, the Pirates’ team had seven runs on 12 hits and went 4-10 with runners in scoring position. Polanco had two of those hits, as he continues to steadily improve as the season moves forward. Aramis Ramirez had one of his only good offensive games for the Pirates, knotting two hits and an RBI on the night.
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Mark Melancon finally gave up a run, the first he had given up since May 11th. His ERA still sits at a sterling 1.44 for the season.
The Pittsburgh Pirates (62-44) have an off day on Thursday before picking up against the Los Angeles Dodgers (61-46) on Friday in a matchup that will be televised on ESPN. In what should be a phenomenal pitching matchup, Gerrit Cole (14-5, 2.29 ERA) takes the mound for the Buccos as he will face Clayton Kershaw (9-6, 2.37 ERA), who carries a long scoreless streak into the contest. First pitch is scheduled for 7:00 PM at PNC Park.