Miguel Andujar collected three hits and drove in three runs and Joshua Palacios came up big with a pinch-hit, three-run homer in the ninth to give the Pittsburgh Pirates an 8-6 win over the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on Thursday night.
The Pirates’ win earned them a series win over the Cubs for the first time since they took two out of three from them last June.
Andujar’s second hit of night gave the Pirates (72-81) a 2-0 lead with a two-run double to right field in the third inning. Two innings later, Andujar drove in another run with a base hit to left field to extend the Pirates’ lead by a run.
On the mound for the Pirates, Johan Oviedo (9-14) worked around some wildness and held the Cubs scoreless in 6.0 innings.
Despite walking five, the Cubs (79-74) went 0 for 8 with runners in scoring position against Oviedo. The right-hander allowed four hits and struck out five.
The Cubs got on the board in seventh inning on a Dansby Swanson single off of Colin Selby.
The Pirates responded in the top of the eighth inning on a Ji Hwan Bae RBI tripe. Connor Joe followed with a run-scoring single of his own, but was thrown out attempting to advance to second.
After the Cubs scored three runs against Colin Holderman in the eighth, Palacios got them all back with one swing on his second three-run homer in as many games.
The home run proved to be vital for the Pirates. Swanson connected on a two-run home run against David Bednar in the ninth inning before the Pirates’ relief ace was able to retire the final three batters.
With the Pirates up 2-0 in the third inning, Oviedo struck out Swanson with the bases loaded to keep Chicago from scoring.
Star of the Game
The efforts from Andujar and Oviedo paved the way to the Pirates’ win, so both players deserve the recognition.
Stat to Know
This was Andujar’s second three-hit game this month. He went 3 for 5 against the Atlanta Braves on Sept. 9. It was also the third game this year he recorded three RBIs. He did so in both games of a double header against the Washington Nationals on Apr. 29.
- This was Oviedo’s 15th start this season in which he allowed one run or less. That’s tied for second in the National League behind only potential Cy Young winner Blake Snell (16).
- In addition to Andujar, Joe had a three-hit night which included an RBI and s run scored.
- Palacios is tied for first with two pinch-hit homers this season and is tied for second in hits with eight.
- Ke’Bryan Hayes doubled twice in the game and now has multiple hits in five of his last six games played.
- After reaching twice more in this one, Pittsburgh-native Ian Happ has now reached base in 59 straight starts agaisnt the Pirates.
The Pirates’ road trip continues to Cincinnati for the start of a three-game series against the Reds on Friday night. The Pirates haven’t announced their starter yet. Left-hander Andrew Abbot (8-5, 3.68 ERA) will go for the Reds. First pitch: 6:40 ET.