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Game Recap: Cubs clobber Bucs early, win 10-4

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MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates at Chicago Cubs Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports

The Cubs were relentless in the bottom of the first, scoring seven runs en route to a 10-4 victory over the Pirates on a hot Chicago afternoon. This was the 11th time the Cubs scored ten runs or more this season.

The Bucs were never really in the game but managed a trio of solo home runs (one via Jung Ho Kang, two from Starling Marte) and tacked on a run via a Corey Dickerson fielder’s choice that scored catcher Elias Diaz.

By the time Jordan Lyles was removed in the bottom of the first after issuing a walk to Kyle Schwarber, the game was basically over. Lyles only managed to retire two batters after allowing seven runs on four hits and four walks.

Replacing Lyles, Chris Stratton ate 3.1 innings in relief but gave up three additional runs off of five hits. One particularly unflattering mistake was giving up a home run to opposing pitcher Lester. Stratton’s sixth pitch of the at-bat, a 93 MPH four-seam fastball, was driven over the left center field wall to make the game 8-0.

Lester finished 2-for-3 at the plate with three RBIs.

When the first inning finally ended, the Cubs totaled 12 plate appearances and could have put it in cruise control from then on.

The Pirates got some support from relievers Luis Escobar and Clay Holmes who both went two innings without giving up a run. The Cubs managed four hits and one walk with four strikeouts from the sixth inning on.

Despite only scoring four, the Pirates managed 11 hits but were 0-4 with runners in scoring position. Marte, Kang, Kevin Newman, Josh Bell, and Jose Osuna each added a pair of hits. Bell and Kang also struck out twice.

This wasn’t the way the Pirates wanted to come out of the break, now 4.5 games back from the Cubs after dropping the last two.

New dad Trevor Williams will try to get one back for the Bucs tomorrow. He’s due for a good start after giving up a total of 16 runs off 26 hits in only 17.1 innings since his return from the injured list.