John Jaso hit for the cycle as the Pirates beat the Cubs 8-4 Wednesday night.
Jaso led off the second with a single, then hit his seventh homer of the year with Matt Joyce and Sean Rodriguez on in the fourth. Rodriguez was on again the following inning when Jaso doubled to right. That left Jaso with only a triple to complete the cycle, and he improbably got one in the seventh, driving in Rodriguez for a third time -- Jaso's drive to deep center wedged itself under the wall, and he scampered around to third for just his third three-bagger of the season. Jaso is a former catcher with decent-not-great wheels, limited power, and a tendency to draw walks, so him hitting for the cycle against Jake Arrieta and the Cubs seems unlikely, to say the least. But here we are.
This had to have been a satisfying night for Neal Huntington, in an "I'll take what I can get" sort of way -- not only did the Bucs beat up on the pitcher who ousted them from the playoffs last season, but Huntington acquisitions from the last 12 months (including Jaso, Rodriguez, Joyce, David Freese and Eric Fryer) drove in seven of the Bucs' runs and scored seven of them.
Jameson Taillon also ended his season with a solid outing, allowing just one run in six innings while striking out four and walking three from the Cubs' tough lineup. Taillon finishes his rookie season with 85 strikeouts and just 17 walks in 104 innings, with a 3.38 ERA. That's a "win" for a Pirates organization that could really use one, particularly since Taillon looked like a complete wild card at the start of the year.