Olivares, Gonzales homer to lead Pirates to 5-4 win over Cubs


CHICAGO — Edward Olivares and Nick Gonzales homered, and the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Chicago Cubs 5-4 on Thursday night.

Olivares hit a two-run homer in the first inning. He also doubled and scored in the sixth against Justin Steele (0-1) to make it 5-3.

Gonzales hit a solo drive in the fourth, and Jared Jones (3-4) struck out seven in six solid innings. Colin Holderman gave up a sacrifice fly to Christopher Morel in the eighth, but the Pirates opened the four-game series on a winning note after losing six of eight. They dropped two of three to the Cubs in Pittsburgh over the weekend.

Jones was charged with three runs and seven hits. The 22-year-old right-hander has gone at least five innings and allowed three runs or fewer in each of his nine career starts. This was his fifth outing without a walk, and he never faced a three-ball count with his slider keeping the Cubs off balance.

“Just going to straight back to the drawing board, seeing video, seeing what I’ve been doing in past outings where it’s been really good,” he said. “Making sure I’m doing that in catch play every single day.”

Aroldis Chapman worked the seventh. Holderman hit Seiya Suzuki in the left arm with the first pitch of the eighth and catcher Yasmani Grandal threw wildly to first after fielding Cody Bellinger’s roller, putting runners on second and third. Morel then cut it to 5-4 with a sacrifice fly before Ian Happ struck out. Michael Busch walked, but after a visit from pitching coach Oscar Marin, Holderman retired Nick Madrigal on a ground ball to second baseman Alika Williams.

“The first pitch to Seiya got away from him and then we had the throw inside the line, but he was able to build it out,” manager Derek Shelton said. “Oscar had a really good visit with him and kind of calmed him down, and then Alika with an unbelievable play. A short-hand, backhand play, runners at first and second in that environment was really important for us. It was a really nice play.”

David Bednar came on in the ninth for his ninth save in 12 chances.

The slumping Happ hit a solo homer for Chicago in the second after being held out of the previous two games.

Steele, coming off a shaky outing in the Cubs’ 10-9 loss at Pittsburgh on Saturday, gave up five runs and six hits in 5 2/3 innings. The left-hander struck out seven and walked one in his third start back from a strained left hamstring.

“In general we didn’t play good enough defense tonight,” manager Craig Counsell said.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Cubs: 2B Nico Hoerner (sore hamstring) was out of the lineup for the third straight game. He went through a more normal pregame routine after doing nothing the previous day, and Counsell hoped to have him back on Friday.

UP NEXT

Prized RHP Paul Skenes (0-0, 6.75 ERA) makes his second start for Pittsburgh after a promising — and uneven — major league debut against the Cubs on Saturday. Skenes struck out seven over four-plus innings, and the Pirates won 10-9. RHP Kyle Hendricks (0-3, 10.04 ERA) starts for Chicago. ___

AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb



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