The Pirates (56-83) will try to win their sixth straight game over the Cubs (55-83) when the NL Central rivals continue a four-game series on Wednesday.
On June 13, Pittsburgh owned the worst record in the league at 25-40 with Chicago owning the third-worst mark at 26-37. Florida separated the teams with 24-37 record, but have since moved back to .500.
“It’s a little moral victory for us,” Bay said. “You don’t want to run around and throw a party because you got out of last place.”
The Pirates have already been assured a 14th straight losing season, but also have posted five straight wins over the Cubs, their longest streak in a single season over them since winning eight in a row April 15-July 31, 1990.
Zach Duke (8-13, 4.97 ERA) looks to keep Pittsburgh’s winning streak intact and avoid losing his fourth straight start when he starts Wednesday.
Duke gave up three runs and eight hits over seven innings of a 3-1 loss to St. Louis on Friday. He walked the first batter of the game and later allowed a runner to score on a wild pitch as the Pirates quickly trailed 2-0.
“It’s very, very frustrating,” Duke said. “I did something that I can’t do, and that’s walk the leadoff guy. That always puts you in the hole.”
The left-hander went 4-0 with a 1.83 ERA in seven road starts as a rookie last season, but has been dreadful this season. Duke has dropped his last five on the road, and is 1-10 with a 5.28 ERA in 15 road starts. His only win came May 2 at Wrigley Field.
Duke is 4-1 with a 1.66 ERA in five career starts against Chicago, dominating the Cubs in his first four meetings. He had a 0.56 ERA before giving up five runs in a 7-5 loss on Aug. 5.
Rich Hill (4-6, 5.23) looks to continue his stellar pitching at Wrigley Field for the Cubs.
Hill is 3-1 with a 2.17 ERA in his last four home starts after allowing one run and five hits in eight innings of a 6-2 win over San Francisco on Friday.
“I don’t think confidence is an issue any more,” said Hill, who started the season 0-4 with a 9.31 ERA. “After you have some success, you build on it, you start to learn that you can pitch here.”
The left-hander had one of the best games of his brief career in his only start against the Pirates. Hill allowed one run and five hits while striking out a career-high nine in seven innings of a 6-1 win on Aug.6.
The Cubs have dropped eight of their last 10 at home and 14 of 16 overall.
“It’s tough to be out there, playing in a game, people are saying it’s the two worst teams,” Chicago first baseman Derrek Lee said. “It’s not fun.”