Dansby Swanson

Dansby Swanson sparks rally as Cubs knock off Pirates

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Dansby Swanson started Chicago’s six-run sixth inning with a hit, then capped the rally with an RBI single as the Cubs overcame a four-run deficit to beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 10-6 on Wednesday night.

Swanson finished with three hits and two RBIs to help Chicago knock off Pittsburgh, still in first in the weak NL Central, for the second straight night. The Cubs had 13 hits — 12 singles — to reach double-digits in hits and runs again.

The Cubs also were patient at the plate, leveraging seven walks to make the base paths busy late in the game,

“I thought Dansby had one of the better games I've seen him have,” Cubs manager David Ross said. “I thought it was everybody contributing a little bit there, but a lot of traffic on the bases.”

Mike Tauchman had three hits, two RBIs and made a running catch against the ivy on Carlos Santana’s sac fly in the seventh. Ian Happ and Seiya Suzuki each drove in two runs in the Cubs' fourth win in five games.

Santana lofted a two-run homer and finished with four RBIs. Andrew McCutchen cracked the 22nd leadoff homer of his career and Austin Hedges added a solo shot.

Bryan Reynolds had three hits, scored three runs and made an over-the-shoulder catch in left in the second of six games in nine days between the division rivals.

The Pirates were cruising with a 5-1 lead before the Cubs sent 11 men to the plate in the sixth. Roansy Contreras (3-6) the first of five Pirates relievers, yielded five runs on three hits and two walks over 1 1/3 innings to fuel the rally as he struggled with his command.

“Some luck went our way I feel in that innings, but I think it's just a testament to the kind of at-bats we've been able to put together recently,” Swanson said. “Balls are starting to find holes.”

The Cubs scored the first run on a bases-loaded walk to Nick Madrigal on a pitch-clock violation against Contreras. Tauchman singled to make it 5-4

Happ grounded a two-run single to left to put Chicago ahead 6-5, then Swanson plated a run.

Chicago starter Drew Smyly (6-4) ended a three-game losing streak despite allowing five runs on nine hits in six innings. Three relievers closed it out, with Adbert Alzolay throwing a scoreless ninth.

“I put us behind the 8-ball early,” Smyly said. “I feel like I did enough to keep it somewhat close, keep it a four-run game. Then our offense just jumped on them once their starter came out.”

Pittsburgh’s Osvaldo Bido started in his major league debut. The rangy 27-year-old right-hander allowed one run on four hits, while striking out six through four innings.

“I thought Bido did a nice job," Pittsburgh manager Derek Shelton said. “The latter half of the game we just struggled with our command. We didn't throw strikes.”

The Pirates cut it to 7-6 in the seventh on Santana’s sac fly. The Cubs scored three in the eighth, two on Suzuki's double, to ice it.

NO GO, STRO’

Cubs President of Baseball Operations Jed Hoyer avoided specifics while reacting to ace Marcus Stroman’s Twitter call out to the team last Saturday for not negotiating with his agent on a contract extension.

“We don’t talk about negotiations outside the four walls,” Hoyer said. “We talk to the agent. We talk to the player. In this particular case, he tweeted out. That changes the dynamic, but that doesn’t change our stance on it, which is we’re just not going to comment."

After Stroman won his fifth straight start in San Francisco on Friday, a fan account tweet listed some of Stroman’s 2023 stats.

The 32-year-old right-hander replied: “My agent and I made multiple attempts to engage them on an extension. Club wasn’t interested in exploring it now. Will see how it plays out! Love everything about the Cubs organization!”

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Copyright AP - Associated Press
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