5/22 Pirates 1, Cubs 0
On Opening Day, Jeff Samardzija held the Pirates to two hits over eight scoreless innings and picked up the win. Pittsburgh got that many hits in the first inning alone on Wednesday, which was just enough.
Garrett Jones smacked a RBI single in the first to back Francisco Liriano, who struck out nine over seven innings, and lift the Pirates to a 1-0 victory over the Cubs.
Samardzija was the winning pitcher on April 1 at PNC Park in the Cubs’ 3-1 victory but took the loss on Wednesday. It was his first defeat in 15 career games (four starts) against the Pirates, and first loss in nine games (four starts) in Pittsburgh. The right-hander did strike out eight and scattered three hits over seven innings.
In the Pirates’ first, Andrew McCutchen doubled with two outs and scored on Jones’ single. That was all Liriano needed.
The Cubs have struggled with runners in scoring position, and failed again in the third. Chicago loaded the bases with none out but Julio Borbon hit into a fielder’s choice, forcing the runner at home, then Starlin Castro struck out, and Anthony Rizzo flew out to right.
Chicago entered the game batting .218 with runners in scoring position, worst in the National League, and went 0-for-6 for the game.
– Carrie Muskat