Cubs rally for 6 runs in 9th inning, beat Pirates 9-5
PITTSBURGH — Anthony Rizzo almost led off his third straight game with a homer, losing his bid after a replay review, before helping key a six-run rally in the ninth inning that sent the Chicago Cubs over the Pittsburgh Pirates 9-5 Friday night.
The Cubs won for just the third time in nine games, putting the World Series champions back at .500 with a 33-33 mark.
Manager Joe Maddon wasn’t around to see the comeback — he was ejected in the first inning after Rizzo’s drive into the Allegheny River was intially called fair, then ruled foul. In Rizzo’s first two tries as a leadoff man, the slugging first baseman who usually bats cleanup led off both games this week with home runs against the Mets at Citi Field.
Chicago trailed 4-3 until Jason Heyward and Willson Contreras began the ninth with doubles off Juan Nicasio (1-3) to tie it. Tony Watson, who was removed as the closer last week in favor of a Nicasco-Felipe Rivero combo, gave up a go-ahead single to pinch-hitter Jon Jay.
Rizzo added a two-run single, extending his hitting streak to 10 games, and Addison Russell had a two-run double.
Closer Wade Davis gave up a run in the ninth, but struck out Josh Harrison and Gregory Polanco with the bases loaded to end it.
Koji Uehera (2-3) pitched a scoreless inning.
Tommy La Stella and Ian Happ, who grew up in Pittsburgh and was playing his first game at PNC Park, had two hits each for the Cubs. La Stella had a single in the ninth.
Josh Bell hit his 12th homer and a two-run triple to help the Pirates rally from 3-0 deficit. Andrew McCutchen also had two hits, including a single in the sixth that scored Bell and put Pittsburgh ahead 4-3.
Cubs starter Eddie Butler allowed four runs in 5 2/3 innings. The Pirates’ Trevor Williams went five innings and gave up three runs.