The Pittsburgh Pirates are now 11-5 in their last 16 games
After the Pittsburgh Pirates 18-5, 23-hit drubbing of the Cubs on Monday, they followed that up with a 5-1 win late Wednesday night. The Pirates now improve to 41-43 on the season and now stand 4.0 games back of the first place Milwaukee Brewers. They have also pulled to within 2.5 games of the second National League Wild Card spot.
In the bottom of the first, second baseman Adam Frazier started things off with a lead off single and later scored in the inning on a sac fly from who other than Josh Bell to give the Bucs the early 1-0 lead.
Pirates starting pitcher Joe Musgrove appeared to have his good stuff Wednesday night, but his outing was shortened due to an extensive two hour rain delay. During this three innings of work he allowed just one hit and struck out four.
The Pirates tacked on another run in the third when Frazier put himself in scoring position with his fifth double in two days, then was knocked in by Starling Marte with an RBI double. Francisco Liriano relieved Musgrove following the rain delay and tossed a scoreless fourth inning.
The Cubs saw their deficit grow once again in the bottom of the fourth when Frazier hit a three run shot to right field, which scored Kevin Newman who walked and Stephen Brault who singled, giving the Pirates a 5-0 lead.
One bright spot from tonight’s game was the performance of reliever Clay Holmes‘ as he struck out four batters in two clean innings of work. Holmes has been up and down at times this season, so it was nice to see him get a confidence boost tonight.
The Cubs put together a little late offense against Pirates closer Felipe Vazquez with two hits in the final frame, including a RBI double from Wilson Contreras. Not only did the Cubs struggle offensively, but they were unable to even put a runner into scoring position until the 8th inning.
With tonight’s win, the Pirates have guaranteed a split in this four game set with the Cubs and will have a chance to take the series tomorrow night. The Pirates now improve to 41-43 on the season and now stand 3.5 games back of the first place Milwaukee Brewers.
(W) Clay Holmes 1-0
(L) Kyle Hendricks 7-6
2B Adam Frazier 4-4, HR 3 RBIs