Jason Hammel took the mound for the Chicago Cubs on Thursday and successfully ended the team’s two-game losing streak to start the season with a 3-2 victory on Thursday over the Pittsburgh Pirates
In his Cubs debut on Thursday, Hammel pitched 6 2/3 innings while holding the Pirates to 1 run on 2 hits and 1 walk while striking out 6 batters.
After the Cubs used all of their relievers in the marathon game that was their 16-inning loss on Wednesday, the Cubs needed Hammel to pitch deep into Thursday’s game in order to give the bullpen some much needed rest.
The Cubs bullpen continued their strong start to the season as after James Russell allowed the second and final Pirates run of the day, Pittsburgh was then held scoreless by Justin Grimm, Brian Schlitter, and Pedro Strop. Strop earned the save in the ninth inning for the Cubs in place of Jose Veras. Veras blew his first save opportunity of the season on Wednesday night.
Offensively, the Cubs were led by Emilio Bonifacio and Mike Olt. Bonifacio was 2-for-4 on the day with a double while scoring 2 of the Cubs 3 runs. The other Cubs’ run of the day came courtesy of Olt, who hit his first Major League home run.
After their victory on Thursday, the Cubs now prepare for their home opener on Friday against the Philadelphia Phillies with a record of 1-2.