The Cubs (7-5) continue to beat up on a rebuilding Pirates (4-8) team early in the season. Wednesday saw a combination of excellent pitching from Yu Darvish and red-hot hitting by Anthony Rizzo earn Chicago an 8-4 victory at PNC Park, via MLB The Show 20.
This time the Pittsburgh pitcher getting the early shellacking was Chris Archer. Rizzo took him deep in the top of 1st to give the Cubs a 1-0 lead. The wheels really came off for the former Ray in the 2nd inning, when David Bote blasted a solo homer of his own to open the frame.
The Pirates defense made matters worse for their hurler as Gregory Polanco dropped a Jason Kipnis fly ball and Josh Bell misplayed a Darvish grounder. Ian Happ followed with a single to plate Kipnis, then Rizzo knocked Archer out of the game with a three-run bomb to center.
Darvish ran into his only trouble of the night in the bottom of the 2nd when Luke Maile hit a two-run double to cut the lead to 6-2. The righty locked in from there, retiring the last 12 batters he faced and striking out eight overall.
Victor Caratini and Kipnis hit back-to-back RBI singles in the 5th to up the lead to 8-2. The Cubs hoped to avoid going going to Craig Kimbrel, but Dillon Maples allowed a pair of singles and Kyle Ryan gave up another two-run double to Maile to close the gap. David Ross reluctantly tapped his high-paid reliever to secure the 8-4 win.
Rizzo – 2-for-4, BB, 2 HR, 4 RBI
Bote – 1-for-4, BB, HR, RBI
Happ – 2-for-5, RBI
Darvish – 7 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 10 K
Maile – 2-for-4, 2 2B, 4 RBI
Holland – 3 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K
Winning Pitcher – Darvish (3-0)
Losing Pitcher – Archer (1-2)
Save – none
Home Runs – Rizzo 2 (5), Bote (3)