Final: Pirates 8, Cubs 4
Jeff Karstens held the Cubs to just one run over five innings and the Pirates offense busted out 13 hits and eight runs as the Bucs breezed to pick up the series win.
Karstens gave up a solo homer to Starlin Castro in the first inning, but settled in after that.
The Pirates countered in the third with a solo home run by Starling Marte and later scored again that inning thanks to a balk call.
The game remained at 2-1 until the eighth inning when Garrett Jones delivered a two-run, pinch-hit single to extend the Pirates lead to 4-1. After a single by Travis Snider, Michael McKenry blasted a three-run homer to put the game out of reach. Jones doubled in another run in the ninth to cap off the afternoon for the Bucs’ offense.
Joel Hanrahan came on to close things out in the ninth with an 8-1 lead and gave up three runs on five hits, including a two-run homer by Wellington Castillo. He did strike out the side, however.
Andrew McCutchen went 2 for 3 with a double and two walks. He seems to be getting back into the swing of things after a “mini slump” over the past two weeks.
Michael McKenry’s homer in the eighth was his tenth of the season. He is hitting a home run every 13.2 at-bats. If he had the necessary at-bats to qualify, that would be the second best number in the Majors behind only Ryan Braun‘s 12.8 AB/HR.
Gaby Sanchez made his Pirates debut in the cleanup spot. He went 0 for 2 with a walk before giving way to Jones in the eighth inning.