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Pirates Lose A Heartbreaker In Extras, Get Swept By Cubs

The Pirates were taken down in extra innings after dominating most of the game. Despite working the pitch count up on Jon Lester and scoring early, to the incredible pitching of their own, the Bucs couldn’t get the job done in the 11th. Lester was near 50 pitches by the third inning. 

Early Success

The Pirates came out swinging in game-three and took an early lead in the first. Kyle Newman blasted his first homer of the season off of Lester. The Bucs also pitched well, with Steven Brault getting the start. Brault stuck out four in 3.0 innings of perfect baseball. 

Chad Kuhl left the game early after an injury to his finger. Kuhl is the Bucs’ third pitcher to get hurt this series. Last night Mitch Keller and Michael Feliz both had injuries that took them out of the game.

Pittsburgh was finally able to collect some hits and a run early on. In both games one and two, the Bucs couldn’t get anything going until late in the game.

The Cubs scored in the fifth off a Kyle Schwarber double which scored Wilson Contreras to tie the game 1-1. However, the Pirates were able to shut them down from there.

In the eighth inning the Pirates couldn’t tack on some insurance runs and left two runners on, pushing the game toward extras.

Richard Rodriguez put in some good work and shut down the Cubs in the 8th inning. 

Missed Opportunities

The Pirates had a chance to take the lead in the 9th with a runner in scoring position. However, they couldn’t capitalize on the opportunity. This has been the Bucs’ kryptonite in the short season.

Before the start of the bottom half of the ninth, the Wrigley Field grounds crew rolled out the tarp. The rain was coming down hard and halted the game for a little over an hour.

The 10th inning came and went for the Bucs, but it wasn’t without drama. With one out, Josh Bell blasted a base hit into left. However, Bucs’ catcher Jacob Stallings was waved around third to score. Stallings bowled over Contreras, but was called out at home. They then left Bell stranded on second. 

In his Pirates debut, Sam Howard worked out of a no-out, two-on situation. Howard kept his composure and pitched very well to send the game to the 11th inning.

The Cubs won the game in the 11th and swept the series, when Javier Baez drilled a lib=ne drive back up the middle.

Pittsburgh could not get the automatic runner on second home after two chances to do so, thus the Cubs continue rolling in the NL Central.

The Bucs hit and pitched well for most of the game, however they couldn’t get it done when it mattered most. The Bucs play the power bats of the Minnesota Twins tomorrow.  

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