Pirates complete sweep of Cubs after long rain delay, 4-2

Justin K. Aller

The Pirates grabbed four early runs against the Cubs before a crowd consisting largely of schoolchildren Thursday afternoon, then held on after a rain delay to complete a sweep with a 4-2 victory.

In the first, Starling Marte singled and stole second, then came home on Andrew McCutchen's single. McCutchen then stole second himself (with both steals coming as the batter at the plate struck out -- I can't remember the last time I saw that twice in an inning) and came home on a single by Michael McKenry.

The following inning, Marte hit a two-out infield single, and Travis Snider followed with a triple to left (which I hope you saw -- triples by Snider are going to be pretty rare) on a ball that practically came to a stop in the notch. Snider then came home on a single by McCutchen.

The Cubs got one in the fourth when Jeanmar Gomez allowed hits to David DeJesus and Starlin Castro, and DeJesus came home on Anthony Rizzo's fielder's choice. Then the rain started coming down hard, and Gomez left two Cubs on base as the game went into a long delay. Vin Mazzaro entered after that and got Welington Castillo to end the inning.

The Cubs threatened in the seventh against Jose Contreras, putting two men on with one out, but only managed to get one run, on Ryan Sweeney's RBI single. Other than that, though, the Cubs didn't really threaten, and the Bucs finished the homestand with a relatively easy, albeit long, win.

After a terrific 8-2 homestand, the Bucs are now 11 games above .500.

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