The Chicago Cubs and Anthony Rizzo spoiled Gregory Polanco’s Major League Debut and starting rotation concerns continue for the Pirates. Rizzo homered, doubled twice and drove in three runs, leading the Cubs (26-26) to a 7-3 win over the Pirates (30-34).
Rizzo hit a two-run homer off Francisco Liriano (1-6, 4.60 ERA) in the first inning and Liriano left the game in the fourth due to what is believed to be a strained oblique. It’s unclear if the injury will land him on the 15-day DL or whether he will miss his next start.
The Pirates bullpen faltered once Lirano exited. Casey Sadler (0-1, 6.23 ERA) allowed 4 earned runs in 2 2/3 innings as the Cubs broke the game open in the sixth and seventh innings.
Polanco in his debut, went 1-5 with a run scored. His first Major League hit came in the third inning, when he hit a two-out single with a liner to left field. The single gave the Pirates a spark and Andrew McCutchen hit a two-run homer, his 9th of the season, tying the game at 2-2.
The threat of Polanco on the base paths had Cubs starter Travis Wood’s attention as he threw over to first twice and McCutchen would take the first pitch he saw deep to center for the home run.