Pittsburgh Pirates’ JT Brubaker helps himself at plate in win over Chicago Cubs

Apr 11, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Chicago Cubs second baseman Eric Sogard (4) flips the ball between his legs to shortstop Javier Baez (9) for a forceout of Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder Dustin Fowler (49) at second base during the third inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

JT Brubaker pitched into the sixth inning Sunday and helped his cause with three RBIs as the Pittsburgh Pirates defeated the visiting Chicago Cubs 7-1 to claim the rubber match of their three-game series.

Brubaker (1-0) allowed one run on four hits with no walks in 5 1/3 innings and delivered a two-run single to put the Pirates ahead in the second inning. Wilmer Difo added a pinch-hit, two-run homer for Pittsburgh, which has won two back-to-back games following a six-game losing streak.

Former Pirate Trevor Williams (1-1) started for Chicago and was charged with five runs on 10 hits and three walks over 3 1/3 innings. Javy Baez belted a solo homer for the Cubs, who have lost four of their last five.

After Baez gave the Cubs an early lead in the second inning with his team-leading third homer of the season, Pittsburgh answered with three runs in the bottom half.

Gregory Polanco and Jacob Stallings opened the frame with back-to-back singles before Dustin Fowler doubled in a run to even the score. Brubaker followed with the first two RBIs of his career on a single down the right-field line.

The Pirates extended their lead to 4-1 in the third inning after loading the bases with one out when Kevin Newman scored on Brubaker’s fielder’s choice groundout to second.

Bryan Reynolds had four hits for Pittsburgh, which added another run in the fourth when Philip Evans slashed a leadoff single and scored on Colin Moran’s single to left field. Evans had two hits and is batting .393 (11-for-28) over his last seven games.

All that damage came off Williams, who was making his first start at PNC Park as a visitor after going 31-37 in 94 career starts with the Pirates.

The Cubs were held to three hits after Baez’s home run in the second and were 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position. Chicago had two runners on with one out in the third, but Brubaker induced a double play from Anthony Rizzo to end the threat.

–Field Level Media