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May 10, 2024 10:28 pm

Cody Bellinger powers Cubs past slumping Pirates

Cubs, Pirates

Cody Bellinger had four hits, including a solo homer and two doubles, and the visiting Chicago Cubs opened a three-game series against the Pittsburgh Pirates with a 7-2 victory on Friday.

Christopher Morel and Ian Happ each contributed two hits and an RBI while Nick Madrigal added a two-run single as Chicago won for the fourth time in six games. The Cubs led 3-2 before drawing clear with four runs in the seventh inning.

Chicago starter Javier Assad allowed two runs (one earned) over 4 1/3 innings before yielding to Ben Brown (1-1), who struck out six over 3 2/3 scoreless innings for his first major league victory.

Oneil Cruz had two hits and Nick Gonzales singled home two runs for Pittsburgh, which is 6-17 in its past 23 games. The Pirates were outhit 14-7 and went 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position.

Chicago struck early on Bellinger’s two-out solo homer in the first inning against Jared Jones (2-4). The 390-foot homer was Bellinger’s seventh this season and second in three games since he came off the injured list.

The Pirates answered in the bottom half of the first inning after loading the bases with one out. Gonzales followed with a two-run single in his first at-bat since being recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis before the game.

The Cubs pulled even with a run in the fifth inning. Nico Hoerner was on first base when Bellinger hit a two-out double into the right field corner. Hoerner came around and scored when the ball bounced out of catcher Yasmani Grandal’s glove on the play at the plate. Grandal was charged with an error.

Chicago took its first lead in the sixth inning when Michael Busch doubled with one out and scored on Miguel Amaya’s two-out single.

Jones allowed three runs (two earned) on seven hits over six innings. He walked two and struck out four.

Chicago extended its lead with four runs on four hits in the seventh inning against Hunter Stratton. Morel singled home a run with one out and Happ followed with an RBI double for his first extra-base hit since April 23.

After Busch grounded into a fielder’s choice and stole second, Madrigal capped the rally with a two-run hit to right field.

–Field Level Media

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