W: D. McCutchen (3-1)
L: S. Marshall (5-3)
S: J. Hanrahan (26)
Magical win for Pirates
Is baseball back in Pittsburgh? It sure felt like it tonight at PNC Park.
The Pirates (46-42) rallied in the 8th inning in dramatic fashion as Michael McKenry hit a three-run homer with 2 outs off Cubs closer Carlos Marmol, leading the Pirates to a thrilling 7-4 win over the Chicago Cubs.
McKenry’s three-run shot was his first home run of his career and a magical moment for the Pirates in front of a sold out crowd (37,140), that was as loud as any crowd in PNC Park history.
“We came to play, ” manager Clint Hurdle said. “He caught one as good as he could hit. Game changing swing and a big game for us in first game of series. Big win, ” Hurdle said.
Trailing 4-3 in the 8th, the Pirates scored four times, all with 2 outs.
Everything would not have happened if it wasn’t for Pedro Ciriacobreaking up a double play with 2-outs on a hard slide to second base.
With Neil Walker safe at first, Lyle Overbay singled and Josh Harrison delivered a 2-out single, scoring Walker to tie the game at 4-4, in what was an excellent right on right at-bat.
McKenry then delivered a three-run shot that Pirate fans are going to remember for sometime.
It was the Pirates 8th win in a final “team” at-bat this season.
Joel Hanrahan came on in the 9th for a 1-2-3 ninth inning, earning his 26th save of the season. Hanrahan’s 26 saves before the All-Star break is a team record.
Starter James McDonald (5-4, 4.40 ERA) allowed 5 hits and 3 runs in 5 2/3 innings pitched. McDonald struckout 4 and walked 2. McDonald threw 90 pitches through five innings and finished with 99 pitches before leaving in the 6th inning.
Manager Clint Hurdle was pleased with McDonald’s outing, aside from looking for better pitch efficiency.
“James continues to grow, ” Hurdle said.
McDonald has allowed 3 runs or less in 10 straight starts.
Andrew McCutchen belted his 13th home run of the season with a shot to center.
Cubs third baseman Aramis Ramirez hit his 15th homer of the year with a solo shot in the 1st inning. He has 10 home runs since June 25th.
Josh Harrison led the Pirates with 3 hits on the night. Lyle Overbay and Alex Presley each had two hits.
*The Pirates have guaranteed a winning record at the All-Star break for the first time since 1992.
*The Pirates are 42-0 when leading after 8 innings.
*Tonight was the Pirates 9th sell out of the season
*The Pirates are 37-6 when scoring 4 runs or more.