Pirates rally in 9th, lose in extra innings to Cubs |

Pirates rally in 9th, lose in extra innings to Cubs

The Cubs’ Jason Heyward, right, celebrates with Anthony Rizzo after hitting two run homer off Pirates starter Ivan Nova during the first inning Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2018, in Chicago.

CHICAGO — Jason Heyward gave the Cubs’ run-thirsty lineup a jolt Wednesday night just before they clinched a National League playoff berth.

But even Heyward’s heroics weren’t enough as the Cubs’ bullpen allowed four runs in the eighth and ninth innings that allowed the Pirates to forge a 6-6 tie.

The Cubs prevailed 7-6 in 10 innings when Albert Almora Jr. hit a single with two out to score pinch-
runner Terrance Gore.

The Pirates tied the game in the top of the ninth when Starling Marte hit a two-run double off left-hander Justin Wilson that grazed the glove of first baseman Anthony Rizzo.

It was a tough inning for Rizzo, whose bid to catch a foul pop by Francisco Cervelli was denied by a fan sitting in the front row near the Pirates dugout. Cervelli took advantage of the break by smacking a double that moved Kevin Newman to third, and both runners scored on Marte’s hit.

Heyward hit a two-run home run off Ivan Nova with two outs in the bottom of the first, and he added an RBI single with two outs in the fourth as the Cubs held a 6-1 lead.

The Cubs earned their fourth consecutive playoff berth by virtue of the Cardinals’ loss to the Brewers.

But the Cubs, trying to hold off the Brewers for the NL Central title, failed to hold a 6-2 lead after seven innings. Reliever Carl Edwards Jr. walked two batters in the eighth, and Elias Diaz hit a two-run single to cut the Cubs’ lead to two.

The Cubs stretched their lead to 4-1 in the third on a sacrifice fly by Rizzo and a bases-loaded walk by Kyle Schwarber.

The Cubs scored two runs on four consecutive singles after two out in the fourth, capped by Heyward’s hit.

The Cubs played without Kris Bryant and Ben Zobrist. Bryant is nursing a left wrist bruise suffered when he got hit by a pitch from Chris Archer on Tuesday.

Before Heyward’s homer, the Cubs scored five runs in their last 56 innings covering six games against the Pirates.

Jose Quintana allowed a home run to Jose Osuna in the first and a homer to Corey Dickerson on the first pitch of the fifth.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.