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Rapid Reaction: Cubs 5, Pirates 4

9/13/2013

Here's a quick look at the Chicago Cubs' 5-4 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday:

How it happened: Anthony Rizzo hit a go-ahead two-run home run in the seventh as Chicago overcame a three-homer fourth inning by the Pirates. The Cubs got out to a 3-0 lead thanks to a Darwin Barney RBI in the second and a Brian Bogusevic two-run homer in the fourth. But the Pirates tied the score when Pedro Alvarez hit an inside-the-park home run in the bottom of the inning with two outs. That was followed by home runs from Russell Martin and Garrett Jones. The Pirates moved in front for the first time on an error by pitcher Brooks Raley in the sixth inning before Rizzo put Chicago ahead again for good.

What it means: Rizzo's home run was huge. Coming into the game he was hitting .200 in games deemed close and late. His blast over the right-field bleachers was his first of the season under those conditions and just RBIs nine and 10. He singled in the ninth, bringing his average back up to .230. More clutch hits are going to be needed from the Cubs' No. 3 hitter as they head into the 2014 season. Jake Arrieta battled through five innings walking just one, the leadoff man. That's the good news. The bad news is he seemingly fell apart after Alvarez's inside-the-park homer.

Alvarez homer: Alvarez hit a high fly ball that either bounced off the top of the wall in right center or was touched by a fan and went back into the field of play toward center field. As he hurried around the bases, Nate Schierholtz tracked the ball down, but it was too late. The play would have undoubtedly been reviewed if not for Alvarez's circling the bases anyway.

Up next: Game 3 of the series takes place on Saturday night when Scott Baker makes his second start of the season. He'll face Gerrit Cole.