Chicago surges past Pittsburgh 7-2

Bellinger delivers

The Chicago Cubs’ Nico Hoerner slides into home plate to score as Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Yasmani Grandal attempts to make a play during the fifth inning of Friday’s game in Pittsburgh. AP Photo

PITTSBURGH — Cody Bellinger had four hits, including his seventh home run of the season, and the Chicago Cubs surged past the Pittsburgh Pirates 7-2 on Friday night.

Bellinger turned on a 100 mph fastball from Jared Jones (2-4) in the first inning and sent it into the right-field seats for the Cubs. He later added two doubles and an RBI single and is hitting .538 (7 for 13) since returning from fractured ribs.

Ian Happ and Chris Morel had two hits apiece for the Cubs, who have won four of six. Happ, a Pittsburgh native, continued to torment his hometown team. His infield hit in the fourth extended his on-base streak against the Pirates to 60 games, a major-league record by one player against one opponent. He later added an RBI double and is now hitting .322 in 96 career games against Pittsburgh.

Nick Madrigal added a two-run single for the Cubs during a four-run seventh that broke it open. Ben Brown (1-1) worked 3 2/3 scoreless innings in relief of starter Javier Assad to pick up his first major league win.

Nick Gonzales had a two-run single on the day he was recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis. Oneil Cruz had two hits for the Pirates. Pittsburgh has lost three straight and 17 of 23.

Pittsburgh Pirates shortstop Oneil Cruz fields a base hit by Chicago Cubs' Ian Happ during the fourth inning of Friday’s game in Pittsburgh. AP Photo

Jones, who dazzled during seven shutout innings against Colorado last weekend, wasn’t quite as crisp this time. He retired the Cubs in order just once over six innings and his four strikeouts marked just the second time in eight starts he fanned less than seven.

Still, there were signs of continued growth. Jones worked out of a two-on, no-out jam in the fourth and would have escaped damage in the fifth if catcher Yasmani Grandal could have held onto Cruz’s relay from shortstop that easily beat Nico Hoerner to the plate on a Bellinger double. Grandal lost the ball, however, while making a sweeping tag that allowed the tying run to score.

Chicago took the lead in the sixth on Miguel Amaya’s RBI single and then pulled away.

Assad surrendered two runs or less for an eighth consecutive start but wasn’t particularly efficient. He needed 89 pitches to navigate 4 1/3 innings and was pulled in favor of Brown after Bryan Reynolds singled with one out in the fifth. Assad gave up two runs (one earned) on four hits with two walks and four strikeouts.


Cubs: Placed SS Dansby Swanson (right knee sprain) on the 10-day injured list retroactive to May 8 and activated OF Seiya Suzuki (oblique strain). Suzuki had been out since April 14. … RHP Jameson Taillon (back) is playing catch and could start during Sunday’s series finale.


The series continues on Saturday when Pirates right-hander Paul Skenes makes his major league debut. Justin Steele (0-0, 0.96 ERA) starts for Chicago.


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