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Squandered Chances, Cubs’ Big Inning Sink Pirates 7-2



Nick Gonzales, Pittsburgh Pirates

PITTSBURGH — Despite not having his best stuff, rookie starter Jared Jones kept the Pittsburgh Pirates in the game with another quality start.

However, a four-run seventh inning for the Chicago Cubs ensured the Pirates (17-22) would not mount a comeback and Pittsburgh fell 7-2 at PNC Park on Friday night.

Hunter Stratton was tasked with the seventh inning and allowed four runs to score on four hits and a walk. Christopher Morel singled home the first run of the inning and was followed by an Ian Happ run-scoring double. Nick Madrigal then poked a two-run single to right field with two outs to put the Cubs up 7-2. 

On the first pitch he saw after being recalled, Nick Gonzales delivered a one-out single with the bases loaded to bring home a pair and give the Pirates a 2-1 lead. 

Gonzales’ hit was the only one for the Pirates in 12 at-bats with runners in scoring position. 

Andrew McCutchen nearly connected on a two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth but was robbed by Happ in left field.

The lead Gonzales gave the Pirates held until the fifth inning. Cody Bellinger roped one to right field while Nico Hoerner was standing on first base. Bryan Reynolds and Oneil Cruz combined to turn a perfect relay and looked like they had Hoerner out at home, but the ball popped out of catcher Yasmani Grandal’s glove on the tag.

Bellinger gave the Cubs a 1-0 lead in the first inning when he hit a solo home run to right field on an 0-2 count against Jared Jones with two outs. The Cubs’ designated hitter finished with four hits and a triple shy of the cycle.

The Cubs (23-16) took a 3-2 lead in the sixth when Miguel Amaya delivered a two-out single to plate Michael Busch.

Jones (2-4) went six innings for the Pirates and allowed three runs, two of which were earned. He allowed seven hits, walked a pair and struck out four.

Ben Brown (1-1) was awarded his first major-league win after a shutdown stint out of the bullpen for the Cubs.

At the plate, Cruz went 2 for 3 with a double and a walk and has recorded multiple hits in three of his last four games.

Up Next

The moment you’ve all been waiting for. Paul Skenes will make his MLB debut against the Chicago Cubs on Saturday. He’ll be opposed by left-hander Justin Steele (0-0, 0.96 ERA). First pitch: 4:05 ET


  • The start of the game was delayed by 55 minutes due to rain.
  • Earlier in the day, the Pirates acquired right-handed pitcher Daulton Jefferies from the San Francisco Giants for minor-league outfielder Rodolfo Nolasco. Catcher Jason Delay was transferred to the 60-day IL to make room for Jefferies.
  • Alika Williams was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis to make room on the roster for Gonzales.
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john benedict

30 managers, 29 don’t do this

Bat Tellez 4th again behind Cruz

Leave Hayes, Olivares and Joe on the bench after a day off

Then in the 7th with a fresh pen decide to mix things up and use Stratton instead of Holderman in a high leverage situation

Make it harder for Cruz, bench the few run producing bats and then let insanity take over and use a kid thats never pitched under that kind of pressure




john benedict

Danny, why was Hunter Stratton in the position to be tasked in the 7th

Because they were down by a run?

Would this scenerio have changed anything

Bottom of 6th, tying run Triolo on first with one out
.072 Grandal next followed by 40% k-rate taylor
Maybe PH one of the guys who should have started anyway

Olivares for Taylor hits a two run blast

Take 4-3 lead to 7th, is Stratton still the man?

Whats your take because i can’t take much more?

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