PITTSBURGH (AP) — Colin Moran hit a three-run homer and drove in four runs as the Pittsburgh Pirates dealt the Cubs their seventh straight loss, rallying to beat Chicago 8-6 on Tuesday night.
Moran’s homer, his 10th of the season, to deep center field in the first inning opened the scoring. The Pirates scored four runs in the sixth to move ahead 7-6. Moran singled home an insurance run in the seventh.
Coming into the game, Moran was hitting just .186 in 22 games in September.
“He’s starting to swing at the right pitches,” Pirates manager Derek Shelton said. “When he does that, a hitter of his caliber is going to get hits.”
Bryan Reynolds had three hits and scored three times for Pittsburgh, which won for the second time in six games. His single started the sixth-inning rally.
Moran had two hits and drew two walks, and Jacob Stallings also had two hits for the Pirates.
Moran hits cleanup behind Reynolds in the batting order, and the duo combined for five hits.
“Hitting behind him is fun. It’s fun to watch him work up there,” Moran said of Reynolds, who is hitting .296. “I get a good feel for how they are pitching him and hopefully him being on base leads to me getting some good pitches to hit.”
Chicago’s Nick Martini went 4 for 4 with two RBIs as he set a career high for hits. Frank Schwindel, Matt Duffy and Austin Romine had two hits apiece.
Down 6-3, the Pirates rallied in the sixth inning. Ben Gamel’s sacrifice fly made it a two-run game, and Hoy Park drove a tying two-run triple to center field. Pinch-hitter Michael Chavis singled in Park with the go-ahead run.
Enyel De Los Santos (2-1) pitched one scoreless inning for his first win since the Pirates claimed him off waivers from Philadelphia earlier this month. Adam Morgan (1-1) took the loss.
Chris Stratton worked a scoreless ninth inning for his seventh save, as the Pirates snapped a seven-game losing streak to the Cubs.
Both starting pitchers were roughed up. Pittsburgh’s Mitch Keller was tagged for six runs in four innings, and Chicago’s Alec Mills gave up six runs in five innings.
“I got in some good counts then left some balls over the heart of the plate. You can’t leave it there,” Keller said. “The bullpen came in and put up zeroes and we kept adding on runs. The rest of the guys had my back.”
Mills is 0-2 with a 7.82 ERA in five September starts.
“To be honest, this is one of the worst stretches of pitching I’ve ever had,” Mills said. “It’s frustrating.”
The Cubs went ahead 6-3 with three runs off Keller in the fifth. Ian Happ hit an RBI single, Duffy doubled in a run and Martini lifted a sacrifice fly.
After Moran put the Pirates ahead 3-0, the Cubs tied it with a three-run third that included run-scoring singles by Schwindel, Duffy and Martini.
Cubs: RF Jason Heyward will miss the remainder of the season. He has been sidelined since Sept. 12 with a concussion. … C Willson Contreras (wrist soreness) was not in the lineup, but pinch-hit in the ninth inning and grounded out to end the game. … Rookie RHP Keegan Thompson (right shoulder inflammation) was placed on the 10-day injured list, ending his season, and RHP Jason Adam was recalled from Triple-A Iowa.
Pirates: Stallings was reinstated from the seven-day concussion IL and Chavis (right elbow strain) was activated from the 10-day IL. … RHP Connor Overton (right shoulder strain) was placed on the 10-day IL … C Taylor Davis was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis.
The Pirates are expected to call up RHP Roansy Contreras from Indianapolis to start Wednesday night and make his major league debut. RHP Kyle Hendricks (14-7, 4.81), who is winless in his last six starts, will pitch for the Cubs.
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