Pittsburgh 5 – Chicago 4
W: J. Karstens (1-0)
L: C. Marmol (0-1)
S: J. Hanrahan (2)
Summary: The Pittsburgh Pirates (2-1) railled to defeat the Chicago Cubs (1-2), 5-4 on Sunday afternoon at Wrigley Field.
Pedro Alvarez (3-5, 3RBI’s, run scored) came up big, driving in the game winning runs with an infield single off closer Carlos Marmol in the top of ninth inning.
With one out in the ninth and two men on, Alvarez hit a slow roller to Starling Castro at short, scoring Garrett Jones from third and and Castro’s throw to first was off the mark pulling Carlos Pena off the bag, which led to Neil Walker rounding third and beating Pena’s throw to home to give the Pirates a 5-4 lead.
Walker made a hard slide to beat Geovany’s tag for the game winning run. Garrett Jones (2-4, 1 run scored) walked to open the ninth for the Pirates.
Joel Hanrahan pitched the ninth, earning his second save of the season. Hanrahan got Marlon Byrd to hit into a game ending double play with runners on first and third. Hanrahan bailed out Ronny Cedeno who made a horrible error in the 9th.
Jeff Karstens pitched a scoreless 8th to record his first win of the season.
Starter Ross Ohlendorf received a no decision. Ohlendorf allowed 8 hits and 4 runs in 6 innings pitched in his first start of the season.
Cubs starter Matt Garza set a franchise record with 12 strikeouts in his Cubs debut.
The Pirates had 16 singles in the game and no extra base hits. According to Elias Sports Bureau, the last time the Pirates collected 16 hits all for singles in a 9 inning game was on June 20, 1920
Post-Game Wrapup: The Pittsburgh Pirates (2-1) took 2 of 3 from the Chicago Cubs (1-2) and through three games, the Pirates got good enough starting pitching to win all three games, which for this team is all you can ask for.
Ross Ohlendorf didn’t have a Kevin Correia or Paul Maholm type of start by any means and overall I wouldn’t even call his performance “solid” but he was good early on to keep Pittsburgh in the game and Clint Hurdle got him out of the game just at the right time.
What was concerning is that as the game progressed he began to struggle, giving up 4 runs and 8 hits in his final three innings of work. He also walked four batters. However, based off Ohlendorf’s spring, this was a positive outing for him moving forward.
— Through three games the Pirates are getting “timely” hits which has been encouraging and their young core has delivered in different situations.
On Friday it was Neil Walker and today it was Pedro Alvarez driving in three runs and the game tying and game winning runs.
— Jose Tabata was 3-for-5 in the game with 2 runs scored and he’s been very good in the leadoff spot so far through three games. Tabata is batting .455 with a .538 on base percentage.
— The Pirates have talked about being aggressive on basepads compared to years past and that was good to see on Walker’s winning run.
— Ronny Cedeno continues to show how difficult it will be for the Pirates to compete this season without a major league shortstop.
The Pirates begin a three game road stand against the St. Louis Cardinals on Monday. Charlie Morton will take the mound for the Pirates on Monday, followed by James McDonald on Tuesday and Kevin Correia on Wednesday.