* The Pirates went 14-5 against the Cubs last year, matching Pittsburgh’s highest win total versus Chicago in any season series since 1990 (14-4). The Pirates’ 26 wins (26-12) against the Cubs over the past two seasons are their most in any two-year span since 1960-61 (26-18).
* The Cubs are coming off a 5-2 loss to San Diego on Sunday that resulted in Chicago’s first series loss of 2015. But the Cubs are the only team in the National League that has yet to suffer consecutive defeats.
* The Pirates evened their record at 6-6 by sweeping three games from Milwaukee this weekend. Pittsburgh is 6-0 when scoring at least five runs, but 0-6 when totaling four runs or fewer.
* Highly touted Cubs prospect Kris Bryant made an inauspicious debut on Friday, going 0-for-4 with three strikeouts. But he rebounded with a nice second game, going 2-for-3 with three walks on Saturday. He then collected his first extra-base hit in the big leagues with a double on Sunday.
* Even though he’s allowed no more than two runs in either of his first two starts, Pirates right-hander A.J. Burnett remains winless. But he’s been blessed with just two total runs of support, continuing his pattern with the Phillies in the second half last year. Since July 23, 2014, Burnett has averaged 2.22 runs of support per nine innings, the second fewest in MLB (minimum 10 starts).
* Pirates reliever Jared Hughes recorded his fifth hold of the season on Sunday, matching Jordan Walden (StL) and Jerry Blevins (NYM) for the most in the majors. After surrendering a run in his first appearance of 2015, Hughes has allowed three hits, one walk and no runs over his last six outings.