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Nico Hoerner’s Eighth-Inning Double Gives Cubs 3-2 Win Over Pirates



JT Brubaker

Nico Hoerner’s eighth-inning double broke a tie and gave the Chicago Cubs a 3-2 win over the Pirates at Wrigley Field in the opener of a two-game series.

Monday night marked the first of a brief two-game series between the Pittsburgh Pirates and Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field.

Seiya Suzuki reached on Pirates shortstop Oneil Cruz’s error with one out in the eighth. Cruz’s throw was low and first baseman Michael Chavis could not handle it.

With two outs, Hoerner lined a hanging slider from Yerry De Los Santos into the right-center gap, plating Suzuki. Pittsburgh was unable to rally in the ninth.

The Pirates struck first in the second inning when Cruz delivered an RBI-single with two outs, scoring Ben Gamel.

The Cubs answered in the home half of the inning after a groundball eluded Pirates second baseman Josh VanMeter, allowing Ian Happ to score. Rafael Ortega put Chicago ahead the next inning with a home run to right field.

Tyler Heineman and VanMeter recorded back-to-back doubles in the fifth inning to even the score 2-2.

Pirates’ starter JT Brubaker turned in another quality performance. He wasn’t quite as sharp as he has been lately, but limited the Cubs to two runs in six-plus innings. He allowed eight hits, walked two and struck out four.

Adrian Sampson tossed seven strong innings and held the Pirates to just a pair of runs.

With the victory, the Cubs have won five straight games.

The Pirates and Cubs will meet again Tuesday afternoon as the Bucs will go for the split. Bryse Wilson (1-5, 6.52 ERA) will face off with Keegan Thompson (7-4, 3.43 ERA).


  • Brubaker’s Emergence: After his six innings against the Cubs, Brubaker dropped his season ERA to 3.96, the first time it’s been under 4.00 this year. After a rough two outings to start the year, Brubaker carries a 3.50 ERA over his last 17 outings. The right-hander has been particularly strong over his last six starts as he’s posted a 3.00 ERA and worked six or more innings in five of those starts.
  • They’ll Take ‘Em: The Cubs had some questionable decisions on the bases that led to free outs for the Pirates. In the first inning, Ortega left first base early on an attempted steal and the Pirates recorded an out in a rundown. Later in the frame, Willson Contreras attempted to tag up from first on a fly ball to right field. Cal Mitchell delivered a perfect strike to throw out the Cubs’ catcher. Mitchell made several fine defensive plays. Then, in the fourth, a ball got by Heineman and Hoerner attempted to score from third but was thrown out easily. The baserunning gaffs kept Pittsburgh in the game.
  • Gamel The Gamer: Gamel made a terrific diving play in left field in the top of the third inning. He raced to his right, sacrificed his body, and laid out to rob Cubs second baseman Christopher Morel of extra-bases. At the plate, Gamel roped a double, walked and scored a run. This time of year, trade speculation swirls and Gamel is a logical trade candidate as he is on the last year of his contract. A contending team surely liked what they saw from Gamel in this one.

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