Who cares about Kumar Rocker, anyway? Especially not if you get a chance to write “floundering Cubs” in a headline.
Chad Kuhl continued the Pirates’ run of impressive starts, throwing seven, two-hit innings, and the Pirates unleashed the dingerz. The result was a 7-0 win, their third straight win over the Cubs.
Kuhl retired the first nine batters he faced. The Cubs’ first runner came on a walk to Anthony Rizzo leading off the fourth. Kuhl walked two in the inning, but got out of it on a pair of hard-hit outs. He followed that up by fanning the side in the fifth, then stranded a pair of runners in the sixth. That included Rizzo, who broke up the no-hitter with a one-out double. The Cubs again got two on in the seventh, but a line-out double play ended the inning. Kuhl finished with five strikeouts and three walks, and threw 98 pitches.
The Pirates’ offense came up with 14 hits, a total that typically takes them three games to compile. They scored in each of the first five innings. Colin Moran put them ahead with his ninth home run of the year with two out in the first. The next inning, Bryan Reynolds made it 2-0 with his sixth home run, followed by Jared Oliva’s first career major league hit. In the third, Adam Frazier led off with his seventh bomb, making it 3-0.
The Bucs had a bizarre fourth inning, getting singles from four of the five batters in the inning but scoring only once. Reynolds, Oliva and Riddle started the inning with singles, but Oliva got hit by Riddle’s. A dribbler back to the mound by John Ryan Murphy left runners on second and third. Frazier singled to drive in Reynolds, but Riddle was thrown out at the plate.
In the fifth, the Pirates finally got a non-solo bomb, as Josh Bell hit his eighth of the year with Moran on base. The final run came in the seventh on a sacrifice fly by Gregory Polanco.
Every Pirate in the lineup except Murphy had a hit. Moran and Reynolds each had three.
The final two innings were handled in 1-2-3 fashion by Geoff Hartlieb and Blake Cederlind. The two threw only 19 pitches total.
The Pirates are now 18-39. Their Rocker Number remains three pending the outcome of tonight’s game between Houston and Texas.