Francisco Cervelli’s three-run blast proved the winning margin as the visiting Pirates ruined the Cubs home opener.
The Cubs struck first, stringing together three hits in the bottom of the first against Ivan Nova, but their inning ended on a replay that showed Wilson Contreras had come off the bag when sliding into third.
The Pirates immediately struck back, batting around in the second against Cubs’ starter Tyler Chatwood while plating three. Josh Harrison, Josh Bell and Corey Dickerson, who had three hits in the game, all doubled, with Dickerson‘s driving in a pair.
Starling Marte lined a ball at 112 moh into the left field seats for his second home run of the year, making it 5-2 and Cervelli caped it off with a three-run blast two left center.
Nova went seven innings, while allowing only two more runs, both solo homers by Javy Baez. Edgar Santana came on in the eighth, but left after two ground ball singles and a walk loaded the based. The Clint Hurdle turned to the pitcher formerly known as Rivero for a four-out save. Felipe was firing the ball up to 99, but Jason Heyward hit another grounder that found a hole, driving in two and closing the Cubs’ deficit to three. Baez came to the plate as the tying run, but likely will have nightmares of the change-ups that he waved at in going down on strikes. Chicago then went down quietly in the ninth as the Pirates extended their early season record to 8-2.