Javier Baez homered twice for the second straight game Wednesday night as the Chicago Cubs wiped out an early 3-0 deficit to rout the Pittsburgh Pirates 13-5 at Wrigley Field in Chicago.
Baez, who belted a pair of solo shots in an 8-5 loss on Tuesday, cracked a three-run blast to right-center in the bottom of the second inning to give the Cubs a 4-3 lead. He capped the scoring in the bottom of the eighth when he cracked a 424-foot shot to left-center. He didn’t homer in the team’s first nine games.
Chicago snapped a 4-4 tie in the bottom of the sixth with four runs. Baez scored the go-ahead run when he beat Josh Harrison’s throw from second to the plate on a Tommy La Stella grounder. Kris Bryant followed with the first of two RBI doubles and Ben Zobrist capped the outburst with a two-run single.
Brian Duensing (1-0) worked a 1-2-3 sixth inning for the win, while Tyler Glasnow (0-1) absorbed the loss, unable to escape the sixth inning.
It was only the third loss in 11 games for Pittsburgh. It started out as though it might hammer Cubs pitching when Sean Rodriguez rifled a three-run homer off starter Jon Lester in the second.
The Pirates answered Chicago’s second inning outburst with a game-tying RBI single by Francisco Cervelli in the fifth, but their bullpen simply couldn’t hold the Cubs back. Josh Smoker followed Glasnow to the mound and coughed up another four-spot in the seventh.
Jason Heyward collected an RBI single and trotted home when pinch-hitter Ian Happ drilled a two-run homer, his second. Bryant finished the uprising with his second RBI double.
David Freese finished Pittsburgh’s scoring with a solo blast in the eighth, his second homer.
Lester received a no-decision after allowing four runs off seven hits in five innings. He walked three and fanned three.
Pirates left-hander Steven Brault also settled for a no-decision after a five-inning outing. He yielded seven hits and four runs, walking two and striking out three.
—Field Level Media