Ho-hum, another day, another strong start from a pitcher who's supposed to be a back-end pitcher or a minor leaguer. Brandon Cumpton pitched seven shutout innings, striking out four, as the Pirates beat the Cubs 2-1 to clinch a series victory Sunday.
Gregory Polanco went 0-for-3 with a walk to end his 11-game hitting streak. He did, however, steal his first base as a big leaguer.
The Pirates scored both their runs in the third. Travis Snider belted a Jason Hammel fastball to center to lead off the inning with a homer. Then Chris Stewart walked and moved up on a sacrifice and a groundout. He came home when Josh Harrison's line drive hit Hammel in the rear and dribbled toward third, giving Harrison an RBI single.
Tony Watson allowed two singles to lead off the eighth, and then Travis Wood moved both runners up with a sacrifice. But Watson struck out Welington Castillo and Justin Ruggiano to end the inning. Mark Melancon allowed the only Cubs run on two singles and a force play in the ninth, but got Junior Lake to fly out to end the game.