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Pirates beat Cubs 8-2, jump in front in Wild Card race

Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

The Pirates won their 91st game of the year and went a game up on the Reds in the Wild Card race by beating the Cubs 8-2 on Tuesday.

The Bucs went up 3-0 in the second inning thanks to an RBI double into the right-field ivy by Pedro Alvarez and a two-run single up the middle by Gerrit Cole. Jordy Mercer then hit his seventh homer of the year to lead off the third. The Bucs grabbed two more in the fifth on a single, two walks and a double down the third-base line by Alvarez.

Cole, meanwhile, had another strong start, striking out six and walking one over six innings. He allowed one run on a pair of singles, the last of which went under Mercer's glove, in the third. Mercer then made an error that led to a run in the sixth. (It wasn't Mercer's day defensively, but a home run has a way of making up for that.)

The Pirates scored twice more in the eighth on doubles by Garrett Jones and Starling Marte and a single by Andrew McCutchen.