Pirates keep rolling, take down Cubs againSep 25, 2013 - 5:35 AM Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - Pedro Alvarez collected two hits and knocked in three runs as Pittsburgh topped Chicago, 8-2, in the middle portion of a three-game series.
Jordy Mercer homered, with Andrew McCutchen and Starling Marte driving in a run each for the Pirates, who have won four of their last six.
"We're still trying to win our division," said McCutchen. "That's what we're shooting for."
Gerrit Cole (10-7) worked six innings, giving up seven hits and two runs with six strikeouts. He also contributed a two-run single as the Bucs moved one game ahead of Cincinnati for the top spot in the NL wild card race. The Reds lost to the Mets.
Pittsburgh also remained two games behind the Cardinals, who blanked the Nationals, for the NL Central crown with four games to play.
"The Reds weren't able to come back," said Pirates manager Clint Hurdle. "At the end of the night, we're one up on the Reds and two back of the Cardinals so we have to keep fighting."
Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo knocked in runs for the Cubs, who have dropped three in a row and nine of their last 11.
Chris Rusin (2-6) was yanked after 2 1/3 frames, charged with six hits and four runs in defeat.
"I think I did a pretty good job this year," said Rusin. "I'm not satisfied but it was a lot better than I did last year. I want to keep improving each year."
The Bucs jumped on Rusin for three runs in the second inning, thanks to an RBI ground-rule double from Alvarez and a two-out, two-run single from Cole.
Mercer's third-inning blast put the visitors up by four, but the Cubs got on the board in the home half when Logan Watkins singled, was sacrificed to second and scored on Castro's infield hit.
It was 6-1 in the fifth for the Pirates after Alvarez doubled home a pair. McCutchen and Marlon Byrd, who singled and walked, respectively, to begin the frame, came around on the one-out hit.
Chicago tacked on another run in the sixth, as Ryan Sweeney led off with a single, Castro followed with a base hit and Rizzo's grounder to deep short brought Sweeney in.
Pittsburgh upped its lead to 8-2 in the eighth after Marte lofted a bloop double to short left, which scored Felix Pie, and came home on McCutchen's two-out base hit.
The Pirates have taken 12 of 18 meetings with the Cubs this season, including five of eight in Chicago ... Cole upped his output to five RBI this season -- including four in his last two starts -- and his average was raised to .206 ... Sweeney finished 3-for-3 in the setback.
- PITTSBURGH: 8
Sep 24 11:26 PM
- Andrew McCutchen single to left scored Starling Marte with two outs. Runner on first and Marlon Byrd due up.
Pirates 8, Cubs 2 Top 8, 2 OutsSep 24 10:53 PM
- Starling Marte infield double to short scored Felix Pie with one out. Runner on second and Jordy Mercer due up.
Pirates 7, Cubs 2 Top 8, 1 OutSep 24 10:50 PM
- Anthony Rizzo infield single to short scored Ryan Sweeney with none out. On the play, Junior Lake advances to second and Starlin Castro advances to third. Bases loaded and Dioner Navarro due up.
Pirates 6, Cubs 2 Bot 6, 0 OutsSep 24 10:16 PM
- Pedro Alvarez double to left scored Andrew McCutchen and Marlon Byrd with one out. On the play, Gaby Sanchez advances to third. Runners on second and third and Josh Harrison due up.
Pirates 6, Cubs 1 Top 5, 1 OutSep 24 9:41 PM
- Starlin Castro infield single to short scored Logan Watkins with one out. Runner on first and Junior Lake due up.
Pirates 4, Cubs 1 Bot 3, 1 OutSep 24 9:09 PM
- Jordy Mercer lead-off Home Run (7) to left center. Andrew McCutchen due up.
Pirates 4, Cubs 0 Top 3, 0 OutsSep 24 8:47 PM
- Gerrit Cole single to left center scored Gaby Sanchez and Pedro Alvarez with two outs. Runner on first and Starling Marte due up.
Pirates 3, Cubs 0 Top 2, 2 OutsSep 24 8:31 PM
- Pedro Alvarez ground-rule double to right scored Marlon Byrd with one out. On the play, Gaby Sanchez advances to third. Runners on second and third and Josh Harrison due up.
Pirates 1, Cubs 0 Top 2, 1 OutSep 24 8:27 PM
- PITTSBURGH: 0
Top 1, 0 Outs
Sep 24 8:07 PM
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