JT Brubaker pitched into the sixth inning and had the first three RBIs of his career to lead the Pittsburgh Pirates over the Chicago Cubs 7-1 on Sunday.
Brubaker (1-0) allowed one run and four hits in 5 1/3 innings with four strikeouts and one walk. His two-run single down the right-field line capped a three-run second inning and gave the Pirates a 3-1 lead.
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Pittsburgh’s Bryan Reynolds had the third four-hit game of his career.
Trevor Williams (1-1) was hit hard in his return to Pittsburgh, where he spent the first five seasons of his career before being released in November. He was tagged for five runs and 10 hits in 3 1/3 innings.
Wilmer Difo hit his first career pinch-hit home run as Pittsburgh won consecutive games for the first time this season.
Javier Báez accounted for the Cubs’ run with a second-inning homer. Chicago lost for the fourth time in five games and went 1 for 23 with runners in scoring position in losing two of three to Pittsburgh.
Dustin Fowler pulled the Pirates into a 1-1 tie in the second with a run-scoring double immediately before Brubaker delivered his single. Brubaker drove into another run with a grounder in the fourth, and Colin Moran had an RBI single in the fifth.
Difo’s two-run blast in the seventh made it 7-1.
Sam Howard, Chris Stratton, Kyle Crick and David Bednar combined for 3 2/3 scoreless relief innings for the Pirates.
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Pirates: 3B Ke’Bryan Hayes (left wrist strain) is not yet able to swing a bat, and GM Ben Cherington said there is no timetable for the rookie’s return. “We’re not going to rush this,” Cherington said. … RHP Cody Ponce (right forearm tightness) is scheduled to pitch a three-inning simulated game this week.
RUN TAKEN AWAY
The Cubs appeared to score a run in the third on a throwing error by shortstop Kevin Newman, but the umpire’s call was reversed to an inning-ending double play following a replay review
Baserunner Willson Contreras was ruled to have interfered with Newman, who was trying to complete the relay throw to first to complete a double play on a grounder hit by Anthony Rizzo. Ian Happ had advanced from second to home on the wild throw.
YOU’VE BEEN WARNED
Home plate umpire and crew chief Greg Gibson warned both managers after Brubaker hit Kris Bryant on the left arm with a pitch in the fourth. An inning earlier, Contreras was clipped on the upper left arm.
Cubs catching coach Mike Borzello was ejected for arguing the warning from the dugout.
There were no batters hit after the warning.
Cubs: Continue their road trip Monday night at Milwaukee. RHP Adbert Alzolay (0-1, 7.20 ERA) pitches for Chicago against RHP Freddy Peralta (1-0, 0.00).
Pirates: Open a four-game home series against the San Diego Padres on Monday night with RHP Trevor Cahill (0-1, 15.75) facing RHP Yu Darvish (0-0, 4.22).