The Chicago Cubs were looking to extend their longest winning streak of the season to 5 with a sweep at PNC Park against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The Cubs sent Rodrigo Lopez (2-3) to the mound to stretch their winning streak (and salvage some pride) as the Pirates look to keep pace in the NL Central countering with James McDonald (7-5).
After 2 scoreless innings, Geovany Soto (11th home run of the season) drove one out to left field to take the early lead for the Cubs. Feeling confident from the home-run, Soto caught Xavier Paul stealing with a great throw to second baseman Darwin Barney. Both Carlos Pena (21) and Blake Dewitt (3) homered in the top of the 4th to give the Cubs a comfortable lead at 4-0.
Then the Pirates came storming back in the bottom of the 4th. Ryan Ludwick singled on a groundball to center to drive in Garret Jones. Xavier Paul grounded one out but Ludwick scored cutting the lead in half to 4-2. Now, what aggravates any baseball fan is having the opposing pitcher (James McDonald) double to center to bring Pedro Alvarez, Xavier Paul and Brandon Wood all home. Andrew McCutchen added to the lead with another double to center extending their lead to 6-4.
With the end of the game looming the Cubs took full advantage of the pitching change. James McDonald was replaced by Daniel McCutchen at the top of the 8th. The Cubs loaded the bases with Reed Johnson, Starlin Castro and Darwin Barney all with no outs. Aramis Ramirez singled on a line drive to center allowing Reed Johnson to score. Carlos Pena’s bases loaded walk tied the game at 6-6. Marlon Byrd stepped up big with a sacrifice fly allowing Darwin Barney to score and ultimately win the game for the Cubs. The score was now 7-6.
Carlos Marmol shined on the mound showing why his slider is a force to be reckoned with. After Steve Pearce flied out to center, McCutchen struck out swinging on a Marmol slider. Marmol then gets Garret Jones to fly out to center fielder Marlon Byrd (slider) to naul down the Cubs first 5-game winning streak of the season.
The Cubs have won 5 in a row and are now (5-2) without Kosuke Fukudome. Coincidence, or not?
Let’s keep the winning streak alive. Go CUBS!
About the Author
Written by Kamil Kolodziejski
Born and raised a Chicago Fan! I am a recent graduate from DePaul University with a sports management degree. My lifelong goal is to become a part of the Sports Industry and hopefully one day work for one of my favorite teams in the Bears, Bulls, Blackhawks, Cubs, or the Fire.