Sunday scaries: Cubs score just one run in loss to Pirates


by - Senior Writer -
Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

PITTSBURGH — After losing 8-2 on Saturday, the Chicago Cubs (4-5) fell by a margin of six runs again on Sunday. The Pittsburgh Pirates (3-6) took 2-of-3 from the Cubs in the series at PNC Park. Wrapping up a series in which they went 1-for-23 with runners in scoring and left 19 runners on base, the North Siders mustered just one run on the afternoon. Trevor Williams, who pitched for the Pirates from 2016-20, struggled in his return to PNC Park, but the only run support he received was a solo home run by Javy Baez.

JT Brubaker gave up a 410-foot solo blast to Baez in the top of the second. Baez swung violently at a slider and powered it out to center field to give the Cubs a 1-0 lead. The Pirates went on to tally four straight hits to begin the bottom of the second. An RBI double by Dustin Fowler scored Gregory Polanco, and an ensuing base knock by Brubaker pushed two more runs across.

The top of the third ended in controversial fashion, with a Pirates challenge resulting in Willson Contreras getting called out for sliding out of the baseline in order to break up a potential inning-ending double play. As a result, the run scored by Ian Happ, who crossed the plate while an off-the-mark throw was made to first, was wiped out.

In the bottom of the third, Brubaker tallied another RBI with a fielder's choice that featured impressive glove work by Baez at second base after Eric Sogard intentionally allowed the ball to roll under his glove so that "Javy" could record the force out. Kevin Newman scored on the play. Cubs catching coach Mike Borzello was ejected for barking from the dugout after Kris Bryant was hit by a Brubaker pitch to start the fourth frame. Contreras was beaned by Brubaker in the previous inning. Chicago boasted runners on the corners with no outs in the fourth but failed to score.

Colin Moran scored Phillip Evans with a single in the fourth. The next at-bat resulted in Anthony Rizzo firing home after fielding a grounder. Contreras tagged Bryan Reynolds out at the plate on the play, and Williams was subsequently removed from the game. Wilmer Difo hit a two-run shot that plated Jacob Stallings in the seventh. Ryan Tepera gave up the dinger. Upon failing to put a man in scoring position in the final three innings, the Cubs lost 7-1.

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