Pittsburgh Pirates Defeat Chicago Cubs for Third Consecutive Victory

PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 04: Josh Bell
PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 04: Josh Bell /
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The Pittsburgh Pirates won their third consecutive game on Monday afternoon

After defeating the Chicago Cubs 12-0 on Monday afternoon the Pittsburgh Pirates are now 66-72 this season. This includes being 3-1 on their current home stand, as well as being 8-8 against the Cubs.

On Monday afternoon, the Pittsburgh Pirates were powered by a great start from Chad Kuhl and home runs from Josh Bell and Max Moroff. Through the first few games of September the Pirates are playing strong baseball and it would be great to see this continue throughout the season’s final month.

It did not take the Pirates long to get the scoring started on Monday. Starling Marte singled to start the bottom of the 1st inning and would steal second base. Then with two outs, Josh Bell hit his 24th home run of the season to make the score 4-0 Pirates.

Bell’s 24th home run of the season breaks Chipper Jones National League record for home runs by rookie switch hitters. Furthermore, it pulls Bell to just three home runs short of Tony Clark and Eddie Murray‘s Major League record for home runs by switch hitting rookies.

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Pirate arch nemesis Jake Arrieta started for the Cubs on Monday, but his day would be short lived. After a Max Moroff home run in the bottom of the 3rd inning made the score 3-0 Pirates, Arrieta exited the game with a leg injury.

The Pirate lead grew to 4-0 in the bottom of the 6th inning when Andrew McCutchen doubled and Josh Bell singled him home. Then in the bottom of the 7th inning, Starling Marte singled to start the inning and scored on a Max Moroff double. This made the score 5-0 Pirates.

Pittsburgh starting pitcher Chad Kuhl was excellent on Monday afternoon. The only time he really got into trouble was in the top of the 2nd inning. Ben Zobrist walked to start the inning and then Alex Avila walked.

With one out in the inning Mike Freeman singled to left field. However, Starling Marte threw out Zobrist at the plate to keep the Cubs off the board. After this, Kuhl would retire 16 of the final 18 batters he faced.

Chad Kuhl would end up pitching 7 scoreless innings for the Pirates on Monday. He allowed four hits, two walks, and he struck out eight. This was one of the best starts of Chad Kuhl’s Major League career.

PITTSBURGH, PA – SEPTEMBER 04: Chad Kuhl
PITTSBURGH, PA – SEPTEMBER 04: Chad Kuhl /

The future of Chad Kuhl remains foggy. He is good enough to be a back of the rotation starting pitcher, however, he could be a great reliever. His start on Monday was a statement from Kuhl in his efforts to remain in the rotation heading into 2018.

In the top of the 8th inning, A.J. Schugel took over on the mound for the Pirates. With one out, Schugel allowed back-to-back singles. However, he then got Kris Bryant to fly out and Anthony Rizzo to ground out to end the inning.

The Pirates would break the game wide open in the bottom of the 8th inning against Dillon Maples who was pitching in just his second Major League game.

Jordan Luplow doubled to start the inning. Then with one out, Elias Diaz hit a double of his own to score Luplow making the score 6-0. John Jaso then drew a pinch-hit walk. Starling Marte then walked to load the bases.

Max Moroff then continued his career-day by ripping a single up the middle to score Diaz and Jaso to make the score 8-0. Moroff finished the day 3-for-5 with a home run, a double, and four runs batted in. This hit also spelled the end of the day for Maples.

Outfielder Leonys Martin then took over the mound for the Cubs and promptly allowed a RBI single to Andrew McCutchen to make the score 9-0. A Josh Bell RBI ground out made the score 10-0 and then a two-run home run from David Freese ran the score to 12-0 Bucs.

The Pirates then batted around as Jordan Luplow came to the plate again. Luplow would collect his second hit of the inning before Sean Rodriguez lined out to center field to end the inning.

Dovydas Neverauskas was then given the daunting task of holding a 12-run lead. After allowing a double to Ben Zobrist to start the inning Neverauskas would crack down in the face of a challenge. He recorded a strike out and got a pair of ground outs to protect the Pirates’ slim 12-run lead and number 66 finished off the Pirates’ 66th victory of the season.

Through four games the month of September has been very kind to the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Bucs are 3-1 and have outscored their opponents 23-8. Hopefully these four games are a sign of things to come this month and the Pirates will finish the season strong as a catapult into 2018.

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The second game of this four-game series is scheduled for 7:05 on Tuesday night at PNC Park. Steven Brault will make his first start of the season for the Pirates as they skip Ivan Nova‘s start. Meanwhile, the Cubs will go with Kyle Hendricks.

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