Final: Pirates 5, Cubs 4 (box)
Wandy Rodriguez started off shaky by giving up three runs in the second inning, but finished things up nicely going six innings allowing just those three runs. He struck out five and didn’t walk a batter. Rodriguez has given up three or less runs in eight of his nine starts. The Pirates have won seven of those nine.
The Pirates sent 11 batters to the plate in a five-run sixth inning. Pedro Alvarez put the Pirates on the board with a bases loaded walk. Two batters later, Travis Snider delivered with a pinch-hit grand slam over the right center wall to put the Pirates up 5-3.
Justin Wilson and Mark Melancon each pitched a scoreless inning. Jason Grilli made things a little interesting in the ninth, giving up a run and throwing 35 pitches, before striking out Anthony Rizzo to end the game.
Clint Hurdle deserves a little credit tonight for how he handled the bench tonight. Non-starters Brandon Inge, Starling Marte, Travis Snider, and Jordy Mercer all combined to go 4 for 6 with a double and a grand slam.
Francisco Liriano (2-0, 1.64 ERA) faces Jeff Samardzija (2-5, 3.49 ERA) at 7:05 ET Wednesday night. Samardzija started Opening Day against the Pirates and pitched eight scoreless innings earlier this year.