Pittsburgh Pirates: Luis Ortiz, Bullpen Struggle in 11-3 Loss Against the Cubs

Pittsburgh Pirates v Chicago Cubs
Pittsburgh Pirates v Chicago Cubs / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

Jack Suwinski hit two home runs, but late inning bullpen and defensive woes sunk the Pittsburgh Pirates in an 11-3 loss against the Chicago Cubs

The rain was relentless at the Friendly Confines on Tuesday night as the Pittsburgh Pirates began their six-game road trip vs the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs beat the Bucs 11-3 in the first meeting between the two teams this season. With the loss, the Pirates fall to 34-31 on the season still one game ahead of the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Central.

Inclement weather can make for some crazy baseball. The Cubs proved this by having six of their 14 hits were infield hits. Six infield hits were the most allowed by the Pittsburgh Pirates in a game since August 2013.

What was a closely contested game all unraveled for the Bucs in the 7th inning. Pirate reliever Yohan Ramirez struggled mightily for the first time in a long time allowing three hits, four runs, and hit a batter. Poor defense by Ramirez that cost him a would be inning ending double play hurt him as well.

Against Ramirez and Rob Zastryzny, the Cubs turned a tight 4-3 game to an 11-3 blowout faster than you can say Jackie Robinson and they didn't look back.

It wasn't all bad for the Bucs. Jack Suwinski showed once again that he is no stranger to the long ball. The Chi-Town kid crushed his 14th and 15th home runs of the season Tuesday night vs the Chicago Cubs. His 15 home runs leads the Pirates, and makes him tied for 8th in the National League.

Luis Ortiz struggled in the 1st inning, giving up a 3-run home run to Ian Happ. The Pirate righty has now given up five home runs in his last four starts. Ortiz was able to bounce back with the utilization of his slider and ended his night going 5 1/3 innings with four runs allowed while tossing four strikeouts.

Ortiz did, however, struggle with his location throughout his start. This included throwing a two strike meatball to Happ for Happ's 1st inning home run. His velocity was down for a second consecutive outing, and his fastball did not generate a single swing-and-miss.

Next up

Osvaldo Bido (4.55 ERA, 4.62 FIP at Triple-A) is expected to make his MLB debut for the Pirates on Wednesday. Lefty Drew Smyly (3.27 ERA, 4.58 FIP) is slated to start for the Cubs. First pitch from Wrigley Field is scheduled for 8:05 PM ET.