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Pirates start hot, but miss opportunities in 4-3 loss to Cubs

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Joc Pederson wasn’t kind.

Chicago Cubs v Pittsburgh Pirates Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Things were going great for the Pittsburgh Pirates Tuesday night, until they weren’t.

The Pirates fell to the Chicago Cubs 4-3 despite a 3-0 lead early.

The Pirates wasted no time getting on the scoreboard after Adam Frazier and Ben Gamel got on base to begin the game.

Then, in the second inning, a Will Craig ground rule double and a Frazier HBP set up Ben Gamel to drive in the third Buccos run of the night.

The Cubs answered back with two Joc Pederson homers, one in the third and one in the fifth to tie the game at 3.

Both homers came off Pirates starter Cody Ponce, who made his first appearance with the big league club this season.

Prior to the game, the Pirates called up Ponce and optioned RHP Kyle Keller down to AAA-Indianapolis.

Ponce pitched five innings, giving up all four runs and nine hits. He handed it off to the bullpen after that as they pitched four scoreless innings.

The bullpen kept the game close, but the bats had their chances in this game. Bryan Reynolds struck out with the tying run on second base in the seventh inning. Then, in the ninth, Cole Tucker started the inning off with a double, but Ildemaro Vargas and Adam Frazier could not bring him home to tie the game, which resulted in another Buccos loss.

The pitching and hitting was better than it was over the weekend in Atlanta, but the team needs to capitalize on its opportunities.

They’ll have another opportunity tomorrow night. Wil Crowe takes the mound versus Trevor Williams. First pitch is at 6:35 p.m. EST.