Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Rapid Reaction: Pirates 7, Cubs 6
By Jesse Rogers
CHICAGO -- Though they tied the score twice, the Chicago Cubs never led in dropping a 7-6 decision to the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday night. Here's a quick look at the game:
How it happened: Russell Martin drove home the winning run with a sacrifice fly in the eighth inning to break a 6-6 tie. The Cubs were down 4-0 after a half-inning but tied it on a three-run homer by Starlin Castro in the third. They were down 6-4 in the sixth when Castro went deep again; the solo shot halved the Cubs’ deficit. Then Anthony Rizzo drove home Emilio Bonifacio with the tying run in the seventh. The bullpen couldn't hold it, as Pedro Strop walked two in the eighth and suffered the loss. Edwin Jackson lasted only 4 2/3 innings, giving up nine hits, four walks and six runs.
What it means: Castro is locked in, collecting three hits including the first multiple-homer game of his career. He's 6 for his last 12. Bonifacio continued his hot start with three more hits, raising his batting average to over .500. But Jackson regressed after a decent start last week. His first inning told the story: two doubles, two singles, one walk, one hit batsman, four runs. He looked like the Jackson of last year, and that's not a good thing.
Renteria ejected: In the top of the ninth inning, Cubs manager Rick Renteria was tossed for the first time in his career after arguing balls and strikes with plate umpire Jeff Nelson. Several close calls in the previous inning went against the Cubs, prompting Renteria to come out of the dugout on another close pitch by Jose Veras. He argued with Nelson for a minute or so before heading for the clubhouse.
What's next: Game 2 of the series takes place Wednesday night, when Jason Hammel faces lefty Wandy Rodriguez at 7:05 p.m.