The Cubs lost to the Pirates 7-1 on Sunday, losing the three-game series 2-1. It was the Cubs’ second series against the Pirates this season. The first, the Cubs won opening week.
With the loss, the Cubs slipped to a 4-5 record.
Here are 10 observations from Sunday's game:
Cubs starting pitcher Trevor Williams had family in the stands for his return to Pittsburgh. Williams spent the first five seasons of his MLB career with the Pirates, before signing with the Cubs this winter. His dad Tweeted his support from PNC Park.
The Cubs were first to score, thanks to a home run by Javy Báez. His second-inning solo shot landed in the “S” of the hedges that spell out “PIRATES” beyond the center field fence.
Báez has a history of success on this date against the Pirates. Exactly three years ago, Báez hit two home runs against the Pirates at Wrigley Field, marking his second consecutive two-homer game.
For the second game in a row, the Pirates put together a second-inning rally. It wasn’t as devastating as Saturday’s rally, when the Pirates scored seven runs off Zach Davies and forced a pitching change. But they did erase the Cubs’ lead and jump out to a 3-1 advantage.
It looked like the Cubs had cut the Pirates’ lead to one run in the third inning, in the aftermath of a ground ball hit by Anthony Rizzo. But the Pirates challenged Willson Contreras’ slide into second base. Contreras was charged with slide interference, and the play was ruled a inning-ending double play.
Cubs associate pitching, catching and strategy coach Mike Borzello was ejected in the fourth inning, after Pirates pitcher JT Brubaker hit Kris Bryant with the first pitch of the frame. Brubaker had also hit Willson Contreras the inning before. The Cubs dugout made its displeasure known after the second hit by pitch.
Pitchers have hit Contreras three times this season. Last year, he led the league with 14 HBPs.
Williams’ return to Pittsburgh didn’t have a Hollywood ending. Left-hander Rex Brothers replaced him with one out in the fourth inning. Williams allowed five runs on 10 hits.
For the second consecutive night, the Cubs starter didn’t make it past the fourth inning.
The Cubs finished the game with just five hits, compared to the Pirates' 14.
Next up: On Monday, the Cubs open a three-game series at Milwaukee. Right-hander Adbert Alzolay is scheduled to take the mound for the Cubs and Freddy Peralta for the Brewers.
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