In the second, Volquez walked batters around a groundout. Matt Szczur hit an infield bleeder; Eddie gloved it and probably should have eaten the ball, but instead winged it past first to bring in a run, and a following sac fly quickly made it 2-0. Two runs on no hits is a tough line to swallow. With one gone, Russ doubled and an out later, Jordy walked. El Coffee bounced out to end the threat.
Eddie had more troubles in the third. Baez singled with an out, stole second, went to third when Russ' throw went astray and came in on a sac fly to make it 3-0. The Pirates were retired in order; Turner is working a high 92 MPH heater, and the Bucs just can't get solid wood on the ball.
Chris Valaika opened the fourth with a double and Mike Olt walked. Szczur hit a hot shot to Josh; he stepped on the bag, went to second and Neil Walker's relay to Lambo beat Szczur to the bag for a triple play; Neil made a terrific turn in the middle. Well, that's one way to get out of a jam. The Bucs' Cutch lined out, then The Kid blasted his 20th into the greenery in center to make it 3-1 after four.
Volquez tossed his first clean inning in the fifth. Jordy led off with an infield single and Polanco followed with a walk. Edinson bunted them up, never a given the way Buccos drop sacrifices down. Josh tied it on the next pitch, turning on a fastball and drilling it over the third base bag for a double.
Snider followed with a two-bagger to right for the lead; looks like they've got Turner timed now. Cutch lined a single to center to put gold on the corners. The Kid banged a 3-1 change into The Notch, ticking off Coghlan's glove, for another double, plating one run with Cutch holding at third. Russ was walked intentionally to load the bases.
The Cubs brought in lefty Eric Jokisch; the Bucs pulled Lambo and sent up Gaby. He dribbled one down the left side; it rolled gently into no-mans land and went as an infield single. Jordy K'ed swinging at high cheese. He was picked up when El Coffee's grounder deflected off first base and went for a hit, bouncing off both the ump and 1B Olt, scoring Walker. Clint let Eddie bat, and he grounded out, almost sneaking a roller through the right side. It was now 7-3 Buccos.
Coghlan doubled with an out in the sixth, and there he stayed. The Cubbie OF saved Jokisch's ERA this frame. Josh blooped a single and was erased on Travis' grounder (the Cubs challenged looking for a DP, but Olt's foot came off the bag). Cutch lifted a foul fly to right; Szczur made a long run and did a belly flopper to haul it in. The Kid smoked a single to center, chasing Snider to third. The inning ended on Russ' sinking gapper, snared on a shoe-top catch by Coghlan.
The Cubs got a two-out walk in the seventh, and that was it. Almost the same scenario for the Bucs; El Coffee singled with two away and was forced by pinch hitter Tony Sanchez.
Tony Watson took over in the eighth and it was 1-2-3. Arodys Vizcaino tossed for the Cubs, and ditto. Mark the Shark came on and made it a trifecta with another rocking chair frame, and the Bucs won 7-3 to take the Cubbie series.
Eddie struggled and labored, but went seven and got his 12th win. It took the Bucco bats a spin around the lineup to catch on to Turner's game, and then a couple of rips and a couple of bleeders put the game away. Good win, with Milwaukee also on the plus side and the fading Braves dropped another. The Cards won too, and it's looking more and more like that last wild card is the only game in town.
The Pirates get a day off and welcome the Red Sox to town Tuesday.
- Neil Walker's homer was his 20th, breaking the Pirate single season mark for 2B of 19 held by Bill Mazeroski, set in 1958. He had three hits and fell a triple short of the cycle.
- Today saw the first triple play for turned by the Pirates since April 12th, 2009 at Cincy and the first ever turned by anyone at PNC Park. The last one in Pittsburgh was August 10th, 1993, vs. the Cardinals at TRS. There hadn't been a 5-4-3 around-the-horn triple play by the Bucs since July 23rd, 1979 (also at TRS), scored Bill Madlock to Phil Garner to Willie Stargell. (Thx DK) It was the first TP that the Cubs hit into since May 14th, 2000, at Montreal.
- The Bucs sent 12 batters to the plate in the fifth inning.
- Edinson Volquez's twelfth win is his most since his 2008 season when he was an All Star and won 17 games for the Reds. This is also the first year his ERA is under four since then.
- 37,655 turned out for today's game.
- The Pirates have won all six series against Chicago this season.