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Triple play, six-run fifth lead to 7-3 Pirates win

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Pirates rode a triple play and a six-run fifth inning to a 7-3 win over the Cubs Sunday.

It wasn't a great outing for Edinson Volquez, who got through seven innings but walked five batters and gave up some early runs to give the Cubs a 3-0 lead through three. Just when it looked like the Cubs might blow the game open after Chris Valaika doubled and Mike Olt walked to start the fourth, though, Matt Szczur grounded into what can only be described as a tailor-made triple play -- you don't often see a triple play, and yet after Szczur hit his hard grounder to third, the Pirates went 5-4-3 without so much as breaking a sweat. Hail Szczur!

The game seemed to turn for the Pirates after that. Neil Walker hit his 20th homer of the year in the bottom of the inning, and then the Bucs really got going in the fifth. After the first two runners reached base and Volquez sacrificed, Harrison tied the game by bringing home two with a double. Then Travis Snider, Andrew McCutchen and Walker all followed with hits of their own, and Gaby Sanchez and Gregory Polanco tacked on runs with infield hits late in an inning that, for the Cubs, must have seemed never-ending.

That was more than enough for the Pirates, as the Cubs didn't stage much of a rally after that. The victory gave the Pirates a two-game edge over the Brewers for the last Wild Card spot. They're three games behind the Cardinals.