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Seiya Suzuki’s Two Home Runs Help Cubs Spoil Pirates’ Home Opener



PITTSBURGH — Seiya Suzuki hit a pair of solo home runs and the Pittsburgh Pirates offense could not find enough of a response as the Chicago Cubs took down a 2-1 victory to spoil the Pirates’ home opener at PNC Park on Tuesday.

Suzuki hit his first in the fifth inning, the only run that went against Pirates starter Jose Quintana (0-1). He followed up with a second two innings later against reliever Anthony Banda to the left-field bleachers.

The Pittsburgh offense never got going, against starter Drew Smyly (1-0). Smyly worked five scoreless, allowing just three hits.

Bryan Reynolds hit a solo home run of his own with two outs in the eighth to give the Pirates a chance down the stretch, but the next four batters were retired. David Robertson pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for the save, his second of the season.

The Pirates had a runner in scoring position in five innings, but went 0 for 10 with runners in scoring position. Twice, after a Roberto Pérez double in the third and a single and steal by Ke’Bryan Hayes in the sixth, the Pirates had their leadoff hitter at second base with no outs, but could not take advantage. The Pirates scattered their five hits and did not record more than one in any inning and Reynolds, who went 2 for 4, was the only Pirates player with more than one hit.

Quintana minimized the Chicago offense, allowing five hits in 5 1/3 innings. He faced just one over the minimum though four, but Suzuki’s first home run started the fifth inning. He retired the next three in order, but got into trouble in the seventh, with a Clint Frazier double and a Willson Contreras walk putting two men on for the first time in the game.

That was enough for Derek Shelton to call it a day for Quintana. Reliever Anthony Banda got back-to-back strikeouts to end the threat in the sixth, but Suzuki led off with his second home run in the seventh.

The Pirates and Cubs will wrap their two-game set on Wednesday with a 12:35 p.m. start. Zach Thompson will face Kyle Hendricks (0-0, 1.69 ERA).

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