The Cubs outlasted the Bucs in a four-and-a-half-hour game on Roberto Clemente Day on Wednesday, scoring in the 12th to earn a 3-2 win.
Arrieta and A.J. Burnett traded zeroes for the first several innings, with Arrieta looking terrifying in the early going. I'm not sure what happened to the nice-looking boy who used to pitch in Baltimore, but now Arrieta is bearded and gaunt and sort of hawk-like, and he has four plus pitches he locates with precision.
Burnett, too, looked good in his second start after returning from the DL, striking out seven. But he was the first to crack. Anthony Rizzo singled with one out in the sixth, and Kris Bryant brought him home with a double to left. After Miguel Montero singled, Jared Hughes relieved Burnett and the Cubs scored another run on Starlin Castro's bunt.
The Pirates got one back in the bottom of the inning as Gregory Polanco singled, stole second, and came home as Starling Marte grounded the ball back to Arrieta, who made a poor throw on a routine play to first. (Marte, who had to get around Rizzo at first, was thrown out at second.)
In the eighth, the Cubs had a chance to add to their lead. Montero singled, stole second and advanced on Francisco Cervelli's error. (The Cubs stole five bases tonight.) After Joe Blanton intentionally walked Javier Baez, Joe Maddon decided to let Arrieta bat. He struck out, and the Cubs left two men on.
The gambit didn't work, as the Pirates promptly put two men on with ground-ball singles in the bottom of the inning. Lead runner Pedro Florimon (who had pinch-run for Neil Walker) got thrown out at the plate on a fielder's choice that was upheld on review, even though Montero appeared to be blocking the plate. But Pedro Alvarez then loaded the bases with a walk, and Polanco hit a grounder that led to a ruckus on the bases as he got thrown out and the Cubs caught two separate players in rundowns. The first of those was Alvarez, who wisely held up between first and second, giving Sean Rodriguez enough time to score the tying run.
That carried the two teams to extra innings. Marte helped ensure that the Cubs didn't score in the 11th, making an absurd throw to gun down Tommy La Stella on what should have been a one-out double.
In the 12th, though, Vance Worley made his first big-league appearance since late July. He allowed a leadoff single to Chris Denorfia; Quintin Berry replaced Denorfia on the bases and moved to second on a wild pitch, then to third on Austin Jackson's single. Rizzo then gave the Cubs the lead with a sacrifice fly. Aramis Ramirez singled against Hector Rondon with two outs in the 12th, but Jung-Ho Kang lined out to end the game.
The Cardinals won 5-4 against Milwaukee, dropping the Bucs four games back in the NL Central.