Gregory Polanco, Ivan Nova power Pirates over Cubs 4-2
CHICAGO (AP) — Gregory Polanco hit a two-run homer in the sixth inning and Ivan Nova pitched three-hit ball into the seventh, leading the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 4-2 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Saturday night.
Josh Bell had three hits and two runs scored, while Francisco Cervelli and Jordy Mercer each drove in a run for the Pirates.
Ian Happ and Kyle Schwarber had back-to-back home runs for Chicago, which has not won consecutive games since a three-game streak June 18-20.
Nova (9-6) struck out six and walked one in 6 2/3 innings. Besides the homers, the only other hit he allowed was a second-inning single to Schwarber.
Felipe Rivero, who reached 102 on the radar gun, got the final four outs for his sixth save.
Cubs starter Jake Arrieta (8-7) allowed four runs (three earned) and six hits in 5 2/3 innings. He had allowed an unearned run through five innings before being knocked out in the sixth.
The Pirates took a 1-0 lead in the fourth. Bell led off with a double, advanced to third on a passed ball and scored on a groundout by Cervelli.
Nova retired 11 of the first 12 batters he faced before giving up back-to-back bombs with two outs in the fourth. Happ hit a 3-1 pitch into the left-field bleachers, while Schwarber’s high drive landed about six rows deep into the bleachers in left-center.
Arrieta worked a 1-2-3 fifth after getting the lead, but ran into trouble in the sixth. Bell led off — again — with a double and one out later Polanco homered to put Pittsburgh back on top 3-2. Cervelli followed with a single and scored all the way from first on a double by Mercer to make it 4-2.
The Pirates recalled INF Phil Gosselin from Triple-A Indianapolis and LHP Antonio Bastardo was designated for assignment. Gosselin, 28, batted .135 in 24 games (37 at-bats) during a stint with Pittsburgh earlier in the season.
Cubs: RHP Kyle Hendricks, on the DL since June 5 with right hand tendinitis, will make a rehab start on Monday for Double-A Tennessee. “Once we get that accomplished,” manager Joe Maddon said, “we’ll be able to figure out our post All-Star break rotation.”
Pirates RHP Jameson Taillon (5-2, 2.73 ERA) takes a scoreless streak of 15 1/3 innings into his start Sunday in the finale of the three-game series. Cubs LHP Jon Lester (5-5, 3.94 ERA) looks to bounce back after allowing a season-high six runs in his last start.