The Pirates hit five home runs, but lost to the Cubs, 7-5, tonight.
Wandy Rodriguez looked decent early, allowing one run in the first, then settling down and blanking the Cubs for the next three innings. His fastball sat around 88-89 mph, and his location and movement were encouraging.
With the score 1-0 in the top of the fifth, Pedro Alvarez continued his refreshingly strong start by hitting an opposite field home run, tying the game.
But in the fifth the roof fell in on Rodriguez. With two outs, Anthony Rizzo singled and Mike Olt followed with home run, golfing Rodriguez's first pitch, a changeup, into the left field basket. The next batter, Junior Lake, waited out two balls, then deposited another changeup from Rodriquez over the left field bleachers. After five innings the score stood, 4-1.
In the sixth, the Cubs tacked on three more runs off Jeanmar Gomez. The three runs would end up being decisive, as the Pirates added four more solo home runs, including another one Pedro Alvarez. (The other Pirates' home runs came from Travis Snider and two from Russell Martin.)
Cubs starter Jason Hammel had another strong start against the Bucs, going seven innings and allowing three runs.
With the loss the Pirates drop to 5-3, one game behind the Milwaukee Brewers.
NOTE: In their franchise history the Bucs have only lost three other times in which they have hit five or more home runs. The last time was a 9-8 loss vs. the Reds on August 4, 2007. The other two occurred in 1961 (vs. Los Angeles Dodgers) and 1949 (vs. Brooklyn Dodgers). Additionally, in the history of Major League Baseball, only 142 times has a team hit five home runs in a game and lost.