At a new Wrigley Field in Chicago, Pirates starting pitcher Jordan Lyles tied his mark with 10 strikeouts, and backed by home runs by Francisco Cervelli and Starling Marte, he won a 5-2 victory on Wednesday night.
Trying to prove that his performance of five innings and three hits in his first start was not a coincidence, Lyles showed excellent mastery of his fastball from 93 to 94 mph and combined on a curve to keep the Chicago hitters out of position. balance all night. The only run he allowed was a Jason Heyward home run, which ended with three hits and a walk allowed in six innings of work.
The Pirates started the score at the top of the first when Cervelli lined up a ball to the left, in a strong breeze, which caught the basket for a round trip. In the third, the Cubs' starter, Yu Darvish, hit Lyles with a pitch and also the hitters, then Mars spun an inner fastball, throwing it high and deep into the seats on the left line to get a 3-0 advantage for the Pirates.
Except for the blowing wind, the Pirates could have had two more homers in the deep urges of Colin Moran and Adam Frazier. Moran hit balls at 107 and 108 mph, but both were caught before going to a pinch hitter with a left-handed reliever on the mound.
Richard Rodriguez threw a seventh seventh, but Keone Kela had problems in the eighth, allowing a single-handed career by Kris Bryant, a ride to Anthony Rizzo and a double on the left line by Javier Baez. At that time, manager Clint Hurdle came to the mound to make a double change, approaching Felipe Vazquez to try a save of five outs … and that did, striking out four of the six hitters he faced with a fast ball hitting regularly 100 mph.
Darvish recovered from a very questionable control in his first two starts, with eleven walks in seven innings, but in this game he did not give free pbades in five and a third inning. However, he still allowed four earned runs on five hits, two of which left the park.
The teams finish the series at 8:05 this Thursday night, with the Bucs trying to win two of the three games, with Joe Musgrove against José Quintana.