After the first two games in Oakland the Chicago Cubs had 25 hits combined, but they have been very flat in these last two games they’ve played. They have six hits in the last two games combined.
Dioner Navarro managed two of the four hits the Cubs had for the game out of the three spot. Scott Hairston had the only big blow the Cubs were able to land in the second inning when he hit a two run home run to left field that plated Cody Ransom. Ransom saw his first action since filling in for Starlin Castro a while back. Part of this was due to the fact the Cubs hadn’t faced a left handed starter during their last several games.
Jeff Samardzija didn’t have his best stuff in this one, he went six innings, gave up nine hits, and five earned runs. He walked five batters, which is surprisingly high for him. One of the newest Cubs, Pedro Strop, made his second appearance for the team and was again perfect as he gave up no hits and no runs.
For the first place Pirates it was another good performance at the plate and on the mound.
Francisco Liriano was the starter for the visiting Pirates and he was spectacular and then some. Liriano went nine innings, gave up the four hits mentioned, and two runs. Liriano had his way with the Cubs the last time he pitched against this Cub team and he did the same thing today. He had everything working and made just the one mistake to Hairston.
Everybody chipped in on the offensive side for the Pirates, Starling Marte was fantastic out of the lead off spot, he had three hits in six trips to the plate. Liriano even got in on the action when he drove in Russell Martin on a single into left field in the second inning to land the Pirates the early lead.
The Pirates don’t have gobs of talent, but they have been able to be solid and have gotten good contributions from guys that you wouldn’t expect much from. There aren’t a lot of big names on the roster, but sometimes you don’t need that. The Cubs will struggle with the Pirates over the next two days.
These teams will be back at it again tomorrow at 3:05 PM CT at Wrigley Field. The probable starters for the game are, Charlie Morton (1-1) for the Pirates, and Edwin Jackson (4-10) for the Cubs.