Cubs host Pirates, seek sixth straight win

Sports

The Chicago Cubs will go for their sixth win in a row when they host the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday afternoon.

The Cubs are coming off a 3-2 win over the Pirates on Saturday. Matt Duffy, Eric Sogard and Willson Contreras each notched an RBI in the victory, which improved Chicago’s record to 8-3 in one-run games.

Cubs manager David Ross is happy with what he is seeing from his team as it looks to sweep Pittsburgh in the three-game series.

“It feels like a little bit of old-school baseball,” Ross said. “Guys are getting on, taking the extra base, getting a single. It’s kind of one of those signature good baseball team things, when you’re able to create some runs without hitting a lot of homers.”

Meanwhile, Pittsburgh is hoping for good news after one of its best hitters went down Saturday. First baseman Colin Moran exited in the first inning after injuring his left groin while making a play in the field.

Todd Frazier replaced Moran, who is hitting .297 with seven doubles, four homers and 19 RBIs in 32 games. Pittsburgh already has been without injured third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes since the second game of the season.

Pirates manager Derek Shelton took a wait-and-see approach when asked about the severity of Moran’s injury.

“He’ll get looked at, and he’ll be day to day,” Shelton said. “We’ll go from there.”

A bright spot for Pittsburgh has been the production of Ka’ai Tom, who clubbed his first career home run Saturday. The Hawaii native has earned playing time in left field while hitting .211 (4 of 19) with one homer and five RBIs in eight games with the Pirates.

“I’m very happy that I’ve been getting a lot of opportunities to start games, and I’m getting more at-bats and just kind of feeling out the game at the big league level and (getting) caught up to speed,” Tom said.

The Cubs will look to maintain their winning streak as right-hander Kyle Hendricks (2-3, 6.07 ERA) takes the mound. Hendricks has lacked his typical sharpness this season, allowing 11 homers in 29 2/3 innings after surrendering only 10 homers in 81 1/3 innings last season.

In 20 career starts against the Pirates, Hendricks is 6-9 with a 3.18 ERA. This will be his second meeting against Pittsburgh this season. In his first matchup, he gave up three runs on four hits in three innings in the Cubs’ Opening Day loss.

The Pirates will counter with left-hander Tyler Anderson (2-3, 3.24 ERA), who will make his seventh start of the season. Anderson is going for his third straight quality start.

In five career starts against the Cubs, Anderson is 2-2 with a 4.45 ERA. He already has faced Chicago twice this season, taking the loss in both of those outings while giving up six runs on 15 hits in 10 1/3 innings.

Ross said his team needs contributions from his whole squad.

“Championship baseball teams, it’s going to take 26 to 30 guys, plus, throughout a season to contribute, and I think that’s a sign of a well-rounded baseball team,” Ross said. “We’re deep on the bench.”

–Field Level Media

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