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Pirates fall 3-0, split series with Cubs

MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates at Chicago Cubs Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

The Pirates dropped the series finale, 3-0 as the Cubs extended their lead atop the division to one game. Trevor Williams earned the loss while seeing his scoreless inning streak come to an end. Chicago ended said streak in the 2nd inning when Williams was forced to make up for some shoddy defense on a Schwarber fly ball to right center field. The extra outs costed him as David Bote would later deliver a two-out two-run triple down the left field line. Trevor’s final line was 5 IP 8 H 3 ER 3 BB 4 SO.

Offensively, the Pirates put up a goose egg but that’s not to say they didn’t have opportunities to score. Pittsburgh only produced four hits on the evening but managed to place runners in scoring position in five different innings, thanks in large part to Lester’s lack of command. Unfortunately, the Bucs were unable to capitalize on these scoring opportunities as Lester would deliver six scoreless innings before turning it over to the bullpen.

Here’s how the scoring went:

Kyle Schwarber led the bottom of the 2nd inning off by hitting a flyball to right centerfield. Marte looked to be in a position to make the play for what would’ve been the first out of the inning. However, that would not be the case as the ball was allowed to drop only feet away from him as he fielded the ball on a hop and threw it in to second, holding Schwarber to a single. Ian Happ followed it up with a single of his own, this one of a more legitimate nature. Trevor Williams then struck out Contreras and Lester for the first two outs of the inning. With David Bote at the plate, Williams threw a wild pitch that allowed the runners to advance to second and third. Soon after, Bote delivered triple down the left field line, scoring Schwarber and Happ for the game’s first two runs.

Chicago struck again in the bottom of the 4th inning when it looked like they would run themselves out of that opportunity. Ian Happ worked a walk to lead the inning off but was quickly thrown out at second while trying to steal. Now with one out, Willson Contreras doubled but then got thrown out at home while attempting to score on Jon Lester’s single to left. Williams walked Bote, which advanced Lester to second base before Daniel Murphy delivered a two out RBI single, scoring Lester from second for what would be the game’s third and final run.

After Lester’s made it through six scoreless innings, the ball was turned over to Cisheck, Edwards, and Chavez for a scoreless 7th, 8th, and 9th.

Final score: Cubs 3, Pirates 0

W: Lester (18-6) L: Williams (14-10) SV: Chaves (5)

The Pirates will now head to Cincinnati for the final series of the 2018 regular season. Nick Kingham is set to face off against Anthony DeSclafani at 6:40pm EDT.