PITTSBURGH (AP) — Ian Happ and Patrick Wisdom hit two-run homers early and Alfonso Rivas added a grand slam off a position player late as the Chicago Cubs routed the Pittsburgh Pirates 14-5 Wednesday night.
Held to a total of two runs in the first two games of the series, Chicago broke out for seven runs in the second inning.
The Cubs loaded the bases and Jared Eickhoff (0-1) then hit Rivas with a pitch. Rafael Ortega doubled to score two and Patrick Wisdom singled home two more and brought up Happ.
Happ sent a first-pitch fastball to the shrubbery atop the center field wall. The Pittsburgh native continued his torrid June and is now hitting .380 with eight RBIs and three home runs this month.
Wisdom homered to nearly the same spot in the ballpark in the fourth.
Eickhoff made his 2022 debut and allowed 10 runs on 10 hits in 4 1/3 innings. He became the first Pirates pitcher to give up 10 runs in his first outing with the team. He also gave up 10 runs in his first start with the New York Mets in 2021.
Chicago starter Keegan Thompson (7-2) worked six innings and allowed four hits. He struck out seven and gave up one run, a solo homer by Diego Castillo in the second.
Castillo moved from second base to the mound to pitch the ninth inning for Pittsburgh. He loaded the bases with two walks and a hit better before Rivas hit a 65-mph offering to the right field seats for his first career grand slam.
Oneil Cruz drove in a run with a grounder in the ninth — he has an RBI in all five games to start his career, including three games this season. Fellow rookie Bligh Madris hit a three-run double later in the inning after two Chicago errors.
Pirates: Designated RHP Heath Hembree for assignment to make room for Eickhoff.
Cubs: LHP Drew Smyly (oblique) threw a 30-pitch bullpen session on Tuesday.
Pirates: OF Jake Marisnick (left thumb surgery) was moved from the COVID-19 IL to the 60-day IL. He starts a rehab assignment next week, but can’t be activated until July 12. … OF Ben Gamel (left hamstring strain) will go on a rehab assignment this week. … OF Greg Allen (left hamstring strain) will be out until at least the All-Star break.
Cubs LHP Justin Steele (2-5, 4.27 ERA) will face Pirates LHP José Quintana (1-4, 3.66) in the conclusion of the four-game series Thursday afternoon.
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Alan Saunders, The Associated Press