Vogelbach’s homer rallies Pirates past Cubs 4-3
CHICAGO - Daniel Vogelbach hit a two-run homer, Yoshi Tsutsugo had a two-run double and the Pittsburgh Pirates rallied past the Chicago Cubs 4-3 Thursday night.
The Pirates rebounded from a three-game sweep at Milwaukee with nine hits in the opener of a four-game series at Chicago.
Pittsburgh starter Bryse Wilson allowed Rafael Ortega’s leadoff single in the first, then walked three straight batters. Jonathan Villar added a sacrifice fly for a 2-0 lead, and Seiya Suzuki had an RBI groundout in the second for a 3-0 edge.
Vogelbach homered in the third, and Tsutsugo’s double made it 4-3 Pirates in the fifth. That prompted Cubs manager David Ross to pull reliever Ethan Roberts (0-1) after 2/3 of an inning in which he gave up two earned runs, two hits, two walks and fanned two.
"I was able to get something up, out over (the plate) and was able to put a good swing on it," Vogelbach said. "That’s pretty much all I was trying to do."
Scott Effross got Chicago out of the fifth, then Chris Martin struck out three in the sixth, stranding Ben Gamel at third after a leadoff single and a throwing error.
Cubs starter Mark Leiter Jr. gave up three hits and two runs, walking two and striking out three in four innings of work.
Wilson allowed three hits and three earned runs in three innings. He walked four batters and struck out two.
Five Chicago relievers combined for 4 1/3 scoreless innings after Pittsburgh inched ahead in the fifth.
Cubs first baseman Frank Schwindel had his nine-game hitting streak snapped.
The Cubs (6-7) have now dropped five of seven games to dip below .500 after a series loss to Tampa Bay earlier in the week.
"They didn’t give away any free passes, which we gave away too many, in my opinion, for ourselves," Ross said. "Those can really bite you sometimes. I think they bit us tonight."
Wil Crowe (1-0) fanned five Cubs in 2 1/3 innings of scoreless relief, allowing one hit. Dillon Peters, Heath Hembree and David Bednar stumped the Cubs for 2 2/3 innings, leaving potential tying run Nico Hoerner stranded at third in the seventh.
Peters has now faced 25 straight batters without giving up a hit.
Bednar retired all four batters he faced, striking out two in 1 1/3 innings before Chris Stratton entered to make his first save of the year.
All six of Pittsburgh’s victories have been in come-from-behind efforts.
"They keep fighting," manager Derek Shelton said. "They keep grinding. I mean, it’d be nice if we’d get a lead from the first inning and hold it to the last. It’d definitely help my heart. But they keep going and grinding and it’s a credit to them."
Pittsburgh: The Pirates optioned RHP Roansy Contreras to Triple-A Indianapolis and called up RHP Chase De Jong on Thursday. Shelton said Contreras will "have an impact as a starter this year" and that he felt the best place to "get him stretched" out was in Indianapolis. RHP Luis Oviedo was designated for assignment.
Chicago: The Cubs dealt RHP Cory Abbott to San Francisco for cash after designating him for assignment on Saturday. ... Chicago also acquired LHP Sean Newcomb from Atlanta in exchange for Jesse Chavez and cash Thursday. Ross said he didn’t want to "prejudge" Newcomb before seeing him live, noting that the 28-year-old has had "some major league success" and faced "some adversity." Newcomb was available after joining the team on Thursday. ... Ross said LHP Wade Miley (left elbow inflammation) had a "really nice bullpen" on Wednesday. Ross said Miley will get a minor league assignment before returning to the active roster.
LHP Jose Quintana (0-1, 3.86 ERA) gets the call for Pittsburgh on Friday, while LHP Drew Smyly (1-0, 0.00 ERA) will start for Chicago.