PITTSBURGH (AP) — Rookie Hayden Wesneski had a flawless run in his second major league start to lead the Chicago Cubs to a 3-2 win over the skidding Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday night.
Wesneski (2-1) allowed two runs and five hits in 6 1/3 innings while striking out six and walking two to send Pittsburgh to its seventh straight loss. It was his fourth majors appearance.
Wesneski had a flawless inning in the fifth when he retired the team on nine pitches. He fanned the bottom three batters of the order: Jack Suwinski, Zack Collins and Jason Delay.
It was the 111th clean inning in major league history and the fourth in Cubs history. The last Cubs pitcher to accomplish the feat was LaTroy Hawkins in 2004.
In his first start against Colorado last Saturday, Wesneski threw a seven-inning run without a decision. The Cubs acquired him from the New York Yankees in a trade on August 1.
Mark Leiter Jr. got the last five outs for his third save. The Pirates put the runners in second and third with two outs in ninth, but Rodolfo Castro lined up on center field to end the game.
Christopher Morel had a two-run double, and David Bote and Michael Hermosillo had two hits for the Cubs, who won their third straight game.
Mitch Keller (5-12) pitched well in a losing effort, allowing two runs and four hits over six innings. He struck out seven and walked two.
Keller has given up three earned runs or fewer in 17 of 20 starts since returning to the rotation May 31 following a brief demotion to the bullpen.
Bryan Reynolds was 3 for 3 with an intentional walk for the Pirates. Kevin Newman homered.
Morel’s brace down the left field line with two outs in the second inning opened the scoring.
The Pirates halved the lead on Reynolds’ RBI single in the third inning.
Hermosillo’s single in the seventh restored the Cubs’ two-point lead. The Pirates responded with a Newman first home run in the bottom half of the inning to tie the game by one run.
The start of the game was delayed 25 minutes due to rain and momentarily in the seventh inning when the stadium lights went out.
SUZUKI ALWAYS AWAY
Cubs outfielder Seiya Suzuki is expected to remain on the shortlist throughout the four-game series that ends Sunday. He and his wife are still awaiting the birth of their first child.
Suzuki was moved from the paternity list to the shortlist on Thursday as part of a procedural proceeding. The Cubs signed him to a five-year, $75 million contract as a free agent in March after playing in his native Japan.
BEDNAR IS BACK
The Pirates activated RHP David Bednar, their only All-Star this season, from the injured list before the game and he allowed a run in an inning of relief. He had been out since July 30 with lower back inflammation.
Bednar made 17 saves on 21 occasions.
“We’re definitely in a good position right now,” he said. “We feel better, so hopefully we finish the season strong and enter the offseason healthy.”
Cubs: SS Nico Hoerner (tense triceps) missed his 10th straight game, but the team opted not to place him on the IL.
Pirates: LHP Eric Stout (lower back pain) was placed on the 15-day IL, which ends his season.
Cubs: RHP rookie Javier Assad (1-2, 3.86) will start Friday night. He lasted just two innings in his previous start last Sunday against Colorado, allowing four runs and taking the loss.
Pirates: RHP Bryse Wilson (3-9, 6.07) is 1-3 with a 6.48 ERA in his last seven games, including six starts.
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