The Pirates rallied for four runs in the bottom of the eighth to overcome a one run deficit and knock off the Cubs. Josh Harrison’s single tied the game and Michael McKenry hit a three run homer to provide a secure lead.
Pittsburgh came from behind on three different occasions. Aramis Ramirez commenced the scoring with a first inning solo homer off of James McDonald. The Cubs continued to nip at McDonald’s heels. They stranded two runners in the second and third frames but didn’t score. The Pirates took the lead in the bottom of the third against Cubs starter Rodrigo Lopez. Alex Presley singled with one out. Chase D’Arnaud doubled him to third. With two outs, Andrew McCutchen was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Neil Walker beat out a ground ball to second baseman Darwin Barney. Presley scored and D’Arnaud made a surprising and successful dash home to make it 2-1 Pittsburgh.
After a quiet fourth and fifth innings, McDonald ran into trouble in the sixth. He hit Aramis Ramirez leading off and then allowed a two out double to Marlon Byrd. McDonald was pulled and Chris Resop entered. He gave up a two run double to Alfonso Soriano that put the Wriglies up 3-2. After a single from Barney, Resop whiffed Lopez to end the inning.
McCutchen tied it up with a solo homer in the home half of the sixth.
The Pittsburgh bullpen gave up the lead in the eighth. Jose Veras walked Byrd and gave up a double to Soriano. Barney singled hom Byrd to make it 4-3 Cubs. With two outs, Veras walked Kosuke Fukudome to load the bases. Veras was relieved by Daniel McCutchen who retired Starlin Castro to end the threat.
The Pirates eighth didnt’ seem to promising three batters in against Sean Marshall. Matt Diaz walked and was replaced by Pedro Ciriaco. McCutchen grounded out and Neil Walker forced Ciriaco at second. Lyle Overbay’s two out single kept the inning alive and caused the removal of Marshall in favor of closer Carlos Marmol. He gave up the game tying single to Josh Harrison and then Michael McKenry’s three run homer. When the inning was over, the Pirates were up 7-4.
Joel Hanrahan pitched a scoreless ninth for the save. Marshall was the loser in relief. Daniel McCutchen picked up the win by retiring one hitter. McDonald allowed three runs in 5-2/3 innings. The Cubs got to him for five hits and two walks. He struck out four. Lopez lasted six innings. He gave up three runs on eight hits and a walk. He struck out three.
Four games over .500.
Harrison had three hits. Presley and Overbay each had two.
McKenry’s clutch two out dinger.
McDonald as alright. He battled and kept the team in the game.
McDonald remains 0-1 against Chicago. Lopez is still 1-0 against the Pirates
Overbay has a modest five game hitting streak and has had multiple hits in four of those games.
This was the second time in the last ten games the Pirates scored more than five runs.
Ramirez has five homers in July and has hit safely in 13 of his last 14 games.
Marmol had not given up a run since June 5th, covering 13 appearances and 13-2/3 innings.