The Pirates struck for two runs in the bottom of the ninth on an Adam Frazier fielder’s choice and Corey Dickerson walk-off sacrifice fly, beating the Cubs 6-5 Wednesday night.
“Craziest ending to a game I think I’ve ever seen,” said Josh Bell.
Trailing 5-4 in the ninth, catcher Elias Diaz got things going by drawing an eight pitch walk against Craig Kimbrel with one out in the books.
“I just want to be aggressive and get on base, no matter how,” said Diaz on his approach.
Jung-Ho Kang followed by popping a ball up to right, but Willson Contreras- who was making his first career start at that position- had it tick off his glove, resulting in a double.
Frazier bounced the next pitch to second baseman Addison Russell, who went home with the throw despite playing back. Diaz beat the throw, and the go-ahead run advanced to third with one out.
That decision not to take the sure out at first came back to bite the Cubs, as Dickerson lifted a ball to left to bring the winning run home.
“I love those situations,” said Dickerson. “The crowd getting loud. I think the competitive nature came out in me. Just wanted the opportunity.”
Starter Chris Archer lasted five innings, allowing three runs on five hits and three walks. He struck out eight.
Archer allowed a pair of solo home runs, one to Victor Cartini in the third and another to Javier Baez in the fifth. On both pitches, Archer shook off his catcher Jacob Stallings.
“The overall stat line wasn’t the most ideal,” said Archer. “Obviously I wanted to pitch a little bit deeper. The main focus right now is helping the team win the game, and we walked away and it was tied after I came out. I made some big pitches when I needed to.”
He needed to make some of those big pitches after getting into jams in the fourth and fifth. In the fourth, with one run already in and runners on second and third, Archer fanned Albert Almora Jr. and Yu Darvish to end the inning. In the fifth, he got Caratini to pop to left with runners on the corners before ending his evening by striking out David Bote.
The Pirates put up three runs in the fourth on a Josh Bell RBI double and a Melky Cabrera two run homer. Bell gave the Bucs their first lead two innings later on an opposite field shot- his 26th of the season.
The Cubs retook the lead in the seventh when Kang threw a ball away with two outs before Caratini homered off Francisco Liriano.
That just set the stage for the comeback for a team that is surging before the All-Star break again.
“We’re resilient. We’re not going to give up,” Archer said. “Regardless of the pitcher whose on the mound. Regardless of whose at the plate. We’re all in.”
Richard Rodriguez gets the win (3-3), Kimbrel the loss (0-1). Cubs’ starter Yu Darvish allowed four runs in 6.2 innings pitched.
The Pirates will go for the four game sweep in a Fourth of July matinee. Jordan Lyles (5-4, 3.71) will square off with Jose Quintana (5-7, 4.21), with first pitch coming at 4:05 p.m..
1. This extends the Pirates’ home winning streak to seven.
2. Michael Feliz tossed 1.1 scoreless innings Wednesday. Since being promoted from AAA on June 8, he has recorded a 2.53 ERA with 12 strikeouts in 10 apperances (10.2 IP).
3. Bell’s home run was his 59th extra-base hit of the year, setting a new career high. It also set a National League record for most extra-base hits before the All-Star game (Albert Pujols had 58 in 2003).