9/13 Cubs 5, Pirates 4
Anthony Rizzo wiped out the Pirates’ back-to-back-to-back blasts with his 22nd home run, a towering two-run shot in the seventh, to power the Cubs to a 5-4 come-from-behind victory Friday night and snap Pittsburgh’s winning streak at four games.
“It’s huge for him and hopefully it carries over in the last couple weeks here,” Cubs manager Dale Sveum said of the home run by the first baseman, who has struggled in his sophomore season. “Hopefully, that confidence builds.”
Trailing 4-3 with two outs in the inning against Jason Grilli, Luis Valbuena walked, and Rizzo then launched his homer, his first since Aug. 30. The ball cleared the right-field seats at PNC Park but landed short of the Allegheny River, and was his second hit in 18 at-bats on the road trip. The television cameras caught Sveum saying “wow.” It was a wow moment.
“It was definitely one of my better home runs there,” Rizzo said. “He threw me a slider. He’s an All-Star closer coming in the seventh for this team. That says a lot about the Pirates. He was down and in, and I just put a good swing on it, and tried not to do too much.”
Pittsburgh now trails St. Louis by a half game in the NL Central. The Pirates seemed in control after Pedro Alvarez, Russell Martin and Garrett Jones hit consecutive home runs in the fourth to the delight of the crowd of 35,962.
The Cubs had given starter Jake Arrieta a 1-0 lead in the second on a run-scoring fielder’s choice by Darwin Barney. With two outs and a runner at first in the fourth, Brian Bogusevic made it 3-0 with his fifth home run, hitting the first pitch from starter Charlie Morton into the shrubbery in straightaway center.
But the Pirates tied the game with the back to back to back home runs in the fourth off Arrieta, and took a 4-3 lead in the sixth when Andrew McCutchen scored on an error. Rizzo’s homer was the game winner for the Cubs. Kevin Gregg pitched the ninth for his 32nd save. The Cubs have two more at PNC Park against a hungry Pirates team.
“They’re a good team and they’ve been playing good baseball all year, and playing close games all year,” Bogusevic said of the Pirates. “They’re never out of it and they’re never going to lay down.”
– Carrie Muskat