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Pirates give up three in ninth, fall to Cubs

A controversial call in the ninth ended the game.

Pittsburgh Pirates v Chicago Cubs Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Pirates are shaking their heads after losing their fifth straight game on their Chicago road trip.

The Buccos wasted no time getting on the scoreboard with a first-inning home run from Yoshi Tsutsugo.

JT Brubaker started the game for the Pirates and came off the 10-day IL to make the start. However, Brubaker only racked up 51 pitches over three innings in what was perhaps a premature return.

The Cubs would tack on three runs in the fourth to take a 3-1 lead, but the Pirates responded in the fifth with five runs to take a 6-3 lead.

Cubs starting pitcher Kyle Hendricks got into some trouble in the fifth after loading the bases and walking in Colin Moran and hitting Anthony Alford to bring in the tying run.

After Hendricks was replaced by reliever Trevor Megill, a wild pitch drove in the go-ahead run and a ground ball single from Wilmer Difo scored a pair of runs to make it 6-3.

Frank Schwindel cut the deficit to 6-4 with a solo homer in the bottom of the inning, but the Pirates bullpen kept it tight after that.

Chasen Shreve pitched two scoreless innings and passed the ball off to Chris Stratton to pick up a six-out save.

Stratton breezed through the eighth but ran into trouble in the ninth when he walked Sergio Alcantara with two outs to set up pinch hitter Alfonso Rivas to knock in his first career RBI to make it 6-5.

Then, Rafael Ortega sent a ball to right field that Ben Gamel failed to come up with the out. This scored Matt Duffy to tie the game at 6.

Then, Schwindel came up to bat with a chance to win the game. He hit a sharp liner to shortstop, forcing a difficult throw from Kevin Newman. It looked close, which explains the Cubs tweet with the video from the final play.

It’s an unfortunate loss for the Pirates, who had a good chance to win this game, but once again, poor decisions and failure to execute have bitten this team in the butt. At least it’s on brand.

The Pirates look to avoid the sweep from the Cubs tomorrow afternoon. Wil Crowe is set to take the mound against Zach Davies. First pitch is set for 2:20 p.m. EST.