Pirates hold off Cubs 4-2

CHICAGO — David Freese and Francisco Cervelli each drove in two runs to back Gerritt Cole, and the Pittsburgh Pirates held off the Chicago Cubs 4-2 Friday to end a four-game skid.

The Cubs loaded the bases with two outs in the ninth inning before Tony Watson got Ben Zobrist on a grounder for his third save.

After going 4-14 against the Cubs last year, Pittsburgh started out well against the World Series champions.

Cole (1-1) allowed two runs in six innings, striking out five. He outpitched Kyle Hendricks (1-1), who surrendered three runs in 5 1-3 innings after allowing just one run during three wins against Pittsburgh last year

Freese doubled twice and scored two runs. The 33-year-old third baseman has reached base safely in 12 of his last 15 plate appearances.

The Pirates trailed 2-1 in the sixth when Freese hit a tying single and Cervelli had a two-run double.