Don't count out the Pittsburgh Pirates quite yet. Yes, they've been slumping for a while now. But after beating the Chicago Cubs, 3-0 Monday night, in a game that was delayed for three hours and 37 minutes by rainstorms, the Pirates are tied with the Milwaukee Brewers, 2½ games behind the St. Louis Cardinals for the National League's second Wild Card postseason berth.
It was a strange outing for Cubs starter Travis Wood. He breezed through the first two innings, and in the sixth inning he set a new career high with his ninth strikeout. But in the third inning, Wood plunked leadoff man Clint Barmes, then gave up a single to Brock Holt before striking out Kevin Correia, his opposite number.
That proved a brief respite, however, because rookie Starling Marte shot a two-run triple into the left-field corner and Jose Tabata drove home Marte with a double. After an intentional walk, Wood escaped with no more damage, but enough damage had already been done. And he did exit after only 5⅔ innings, having thrown 116 pitches.
Meanwhile, Correia turned in his best start of the season, holding the Cubs to just two hits and zero runs in seven innings. From there, relievers Jason Grilli and Joel Hanrahan took over, with Hanrahan earning his 36th save of the season. Finally, at 1:28 in the morning Chicago Baseball Time, it ended.
On a happier note for the home team, Darwin Barney's third-inning single ensured that the Cubs would avoid being no-hit for the 7,486th straight game.