EditorsNote: Adds detail to 2-run inning (graf 3); corrects sp. Of Gonzalez (graf 4); adds detail on Reynolds play (graf 9); other minor edits
The Pittsburgh Pirates carved out two runs in the eighth inning without a hit Wednesday to break a tie in beating the visiting Chicago Cubs 4-2.
The Cubs, who have lost eight in a row, would have been officially eliminated from postseason play with the loss, but that actually happened a little earlier in the evening when Milwaukee clinched by beating Cincinnati — just about the same time the Pirates were scoring in the eighth.
With the game knotted at 2, Jose Osuna drew a one-out walk. Reliever Brad Wieck (1-2) was pulled for David Phelps, who walked Pablo Reyes. With Erik Gonzalez at the plate, Phelps threw back-to-back wild pitches, first advancing the runners and then allowing Osuna to score. Gonzalez’s sacrifice fly to left brought in Reyes to make it 4-2.
Gonzalez went 3-for-3 and also had an RBI double, and Jake Elmore added an RBI single for Pittsburgh (67-91), which has won two straight.
Ian Happ homered and had an RBI single for Chicago (82-76).
Pittsburgh rookie starter Dario Agrazal gave up two runs and six hits in six-plus innings, striking out five and walking none.
Michael Feliz (4-4) pitched a scoreless eighth. Keona Kela pitched the ninth for his first save.
Chicago starter Jon Lester pitched six innings, allowing two runs and eight hits, with four strikeouts and no walks.
Pirates center fielder Bryan Reynolds left after the first inning because of right hamstring discomfort. He grabbed at the hamstring briefly after attempting to beat a throw to first. He was called out on the grounder to third, a call that was upheld upon review.
The Cubs took a 1-0 lead in the second. Willson Contreras tripled to left center with one out. Happ followed with his single to right.
Pittsburgh pulled ahead in the fourth. Adam Frazier opened with a base hit to center but was out on Osuna’s fielder’s choice. After Reyes struck out, Gonzalez doubled to the corner in left to bring home Osuna and went to third on the throw home. Elmore’s single to left made it 2-1.
Happ tied it 2-2 with his eighth homer of the season leading off the seventh, a shot to right-center.
—Field Level Media