On Friday night, the Cubs at PNC Park spoiled their lead at the ninth inning. The Pirates drove two runs in their last at-bat to secure a 3-2 victory.
This loss made Cubs drop one game behind Cardinals in the NL Central. Tony Kemp’s two-run trippled off Felipe Vazquez in the eighth inning and remained until the ninth. Kintzler walked Rookie pinch hitter Cole Tucker hitting .196 with bases loaded to tie the game. Kevin Newman then scored a single which set the pace for pinch-runner Erik Gonzalez to drive the winning run. And Cubs got their 17th loss in 25 road games.
The Cubs lost for the sixth time in eight games. They also wasted excellent pitching performance from Jose Quintana on Tuesday’s game against Phillies.
Cubs have also seen a three-game lead turn to a one-game deficit in first eight games of their ten games trip. They haven’t won consecutive road games since July.
On Friday, Cubs were just two out from winning; then everything went collapsing. It started with a ground ball hit by David Bote who entered the field as part of multiple defensive switches. Bryan Reynolds grinder eluded Bote’s glove for a hit. Reliever Brandon induced Starling Marte to hit a ground, but Reynolds went on to the second.
Another mistake occurred when Cubs walked switch hitter Josh Bell who was batting .302 with 24 homers from the left side, bringing Colin Moran. Maddon also stuck with Kintler instead of LHP Derek Holland, but Kintzler walked Moran to load the bases.
Cole Tucker took the opportunity and drew a walk to tie the game and put in motion Newman’s winning hit.