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Michael Chavis’ Late Game Heroics Give Pirates 8-7 Victory, Series Win Over Cubs

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After a back and forth game that ultimately led to extra innings, Michael Chavis delivered a walk-off single as the Pirates defeated the Cubs 8-7 to take the series victory.

The Pirates seemed to be sitting comfortably with a four-run lead late in the game, but the Cubs were able to put together a strong rally off of Wil Crowe and Yerry De Los Santos to take the lead.

Patrick Wisdom delivered the first run of the inning when Patrick Wisdom lined a run-scoring single to left.

With a the bases loaded, two outs, and a three-run lead, Derek Shelton opted for rookie Yerry De Los Santos instead of David Bednar. Nico Hoerner delivered a two-run single that De Los Santos, cutting the Pirates lead to just one. Pinch hitter Alfonso Rivas followed with a two-run single to put Chicago ahead by a score of 7-6.

The Pirates chances looked bleak, but Chavis led off the home half of the frame with a home run into the bullpen.

In the top of the 10th, Chavis threw out Wisdom, who was attempting to score the go-ahead run on a groundball to first. The Cubs challenged, but the call stood, setting the stage.

Chavis delivered a bloop single that fell in between a trio of Cubs defenders, and Ke’Bryan Hayes raced home to score from first on the play. Hayes was shaken up on the play, and walked gingerly back to the dugout.

Bryan Reynolds began the scoring on the afternoon when he deposited a home run into the bushes over the center field wall, his team-high 12th homer of the season.

The Cubs dinked and dunked their way to a pair of runs in the top of the third. They scored after Willson Contreras legged out a potential double play ball, and Ian Happ roped an RBI-single to center to take a 2-1 lead..

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That was all the Cubs could manage off of Jose Quintana, who turned in an impressive outing. He covered six strong innings on the hill for the Bucs, allowing six hits, two runs, walked only one and picked up six punch outs. The veteran left-hander kept his former team at bay and put the Pirates in position to pull out the win.

Hayes hit one a long way in the third, over the notch in fact, in left-center field to give the Pirates the lead back by a score of 3-2.

Thanks to back-to-back errors by Jonathan Villar and Patrick Wisdom, the Pirates tacked on a run to their lead after Hayes was able to score all the way from first after Reynolds lined one off the glove of Wisdom. The Cubs committed four errors in the game.

Oneil Cruz delivered another RBI with a double off the center field wall. He has now recorded at least one RBI in six straight games to begin his career. That’s the second longest streak since 1920, trailing only Dale Alexander of the Tigers who recorded at least one RBI in seven straight games to start his career in 1929. Cruz came around to score when the next batter, Tyler Heineman, drove a base hit up the middle.

The Pirates head to Tampa Bay for an interleague series with the Rays. Game one will be Friday night as Mitch Keller (2-5, 4.72 ERA) will look to continue his hot stretch opposite Jeffrey Springs (3-2, 2.00 ERA).

Takeaways

  • Where was Bednar?: Bednar’s last appearance was a two-inning outing on June 19 against the Giants. Prior to that, it was on the 15th against St. Louis. Throughout the season, Bednar has pitched many multi-inning appearances, so it’s odd that Bednar wasn’t called upon for mop-up duty in the eighth, a head-scratching decision from Shelton.
  • Bounce Back For Q: Quintana got off to a strong start to begin his Pirates career, but scuffled a bit of late. In his las three outings, Quintana had surrendered 11 earned runs across 13.2 innings (7.24 ERA) and also yielded five home runs, but kept the ball in the yard on Thursday against Chicago. He looked much stronger out there this time and tied a season-high with 16 swings and misses in the contest. It also marked the first time he worked six innings since the middle of May.
  • Steele Tagged: Entering play, Cubs starter Justin Steele had only allowed three home runs over his first 13 starts of the year. The Pirates tagged him for a pair thanks to the long balls from Reynolds and Hayes. Steele was charged with five runs in his 5.2 innings of work, only the second time this season the southpaw has allowed more than four runs in a game, and the first time since May 26.
  • If You Got It, Flaunt It: Cruz’s reputation comes with a bit of everything; strong with the bat, excellent runner, strong arm, athleticism, etc. The 23-year-old flashed a little bit of everything in the win over the Cubs. His lined double to center was a rocket off the bat. He made a terrific diving play at short to save a run. He showcased his speed and strong arm from the shortstop position. For as big as he is, he has shown great body control and it is easy to see all the intrigue surrounding this one-of-a-kind shortstop.

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