Mark Leiter Jr. gives up three hits, two runs as Cubs lose to Pirates

CHICAGO (AP) –Daniel Vogelbach hit a two-run homer, Yoshi Tsutsugo hit a two-run double and the Pittsburgh Pirates rallied the Chicago Cubs 4-3 on Thursday night.

The Pirates rebounded from a three-game sweep in Milwaukee with nine hits in Game 1 of a four-game Chicago series.

Pittsburgh starter Bryce Wilson allowed Rafael Ortega’s opening single first, then walked three straight batters. Jonathan Villar added a sacrifice fly for a 2-0 lead, and Seiya Suzuki had an RBI groundout in the second for a 3-0 advantage.

Vogelbach homered in the third, and Tsutsugo’s double made the Pirates 4-3 in the fifth. That prompted Cubs manager David Ross to pull reliever Ethan Roberts (0-1) after 2/3 of an inning in which he allowed two earned runs, two hits, two walks and stoked two.

Scott Effross took Chicago out of the fifth, then Chris Martin struck out three in the sixth, blocking Ben Gamel in the third after a first single and a pitching error.

Cubs starter Mark Leiter Jr. allowed three hits and two runs, walking two and striking out three in four innings of work.

Wilson allowed three hits and three earned runs in three innings. He walked four batters and struck out two.

Wil Crowe (1-0) fanned five Cubs in 2 1/3 innings of scoreless relief, allowing one hit. Dillon Peters and Heath Hembree threw a scoreless seventh, leaving Nico Hoerner in third.

David Bednar retired all four batters he faced, striking out two in 1 1/3 innings before Chris Stratton came in to make his first save of the year.

Five Chicago relievers combined for 4 1/3 scoreless innings after Pittsburgh took the lead in fifth.

Cubs first baseman Frank Schwindel had his nine-game hitting streak snapped.

The Cubs (6-7) have now lost three of four games to drop below .500 after a series loss to Tampa Bay earlier in the week.


Pittsburgh: The Pirates went for RHP Roansy Contreras at Triple-A Indianapolis and called RHP Chase De Jong on Thursday. Manager Derek Shelton said Contreras “will have an impact as a starter this year” and felt the best place to “stretch” him was in Indianapolis. RHP Luis Oviedo has been nominated for the assignment.

Chicago: The Cubs sold RHP Cory Abbott to San Francisco for cash after singling him out for assignment on Saturday. … Chicago also acquired LHP Sean Newcomb from Atlanta in exchange for Jesse Chavez and cash on Thursday. Ross said he didn’t want to “prejudge” Newcomb ahead of seeing him live, noting the 28-year-old had “some major league success” and faced “some adversity”. Newcomb was available after joining the team on Thursday. … Ross said LHP Wade Miley (left elbow inflammation) had a “really nice bullpen” on Wednesday. Ross said Miley will get a minor league assignment before returning to the active roster.


LHP Jose Quintana (0-1, 3.86 ERA) gets the call-up for Pittsburgh on Friday, while LHP Drew Smyly (1-0, 0.00 ERA) will start for Chicago.


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