Sun, 03 Jul 2022

Jonathan Villar goes deep as Cubs rout Pirates

Field Level Media
18 May 2022, 12:40 GMT+10

Jonathan Villar homered and had two RBIs, while Keegan Thompson threw five strong innings, as the host Chicago Cubs won their fourth straight, 7-0 over the scuffling Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday night.

Seiya Suzuki's two-run double highlighted a five-run fourth and Christopher Morel homered during his first career at-bat in the eighth for the Cubs, who rolled to a 9-0 win over Pittsburgh on Monday, and now have posted back-to-back home victories for the first time since early April.

Thompson (3-0) yielded four hits, but no walks, while striking out five to help Chicago post consecutive shutouts for the first time since May 2019.

Meanwhile, Pittsburgh managed five hits after recording three on Monday. They've also been outscored 37-0 during their three losses -- in six games -- at Chicago this season.

Pittsburgh's JT Brubaker (0-4) retired the first seven Cubs before Villar went the opposite way into the left-center field bleachers in the third.

Tensions somewhat brewed in the fourth when Pittsburgh's Daniel Vogelbach was easily thrown out at the plate by Suzuki on a sacrifice-fly attempt. Vogelbach, following his first career triple, tossed aside catcher Willson Contreras' mask, which the Cubs' star took exception to. The benches cleared, but nothing more materialized.

Things got worse for Brubaker and the Pirates in the bottom of the fourth. Contreras reached on shortstop Rodolfo Castro's throwing error to open the frame, then advanced when Castro and third baseman Michael Chavis watched as Ian Happ's popup dropped to the ground.

Both scored on Suzuki's drive into the left-field gap. Then after Alfonso Rivas walked, Frank Schwindel (two hits) made it 4-0 with an RBI ground-rule double. Villar drove home his second run when he beat out a chopper that Pirates first baseman Yoshi Tsutsugo initially mishandled. Ildemaro Vargas' RBI fielder's choice capped the scoring in the inning.

Brubaker lasted 5 and 2/3 innings, allowing six runs -- four earned -- with six hits and three walks while striking out 10.

Cubs reliever Daniel Norris exited in the sixth with an Achilles' issue.

--Field Level Media

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