Jason Heyward hit a tiebreaking RBI single with two out in the eighth inning, and the Chicago Cubs edged the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-3 on Friday in their first game after the All-Star break.
Kris Bryant set up Heyward’s winning hit with a one-out walk off Kyle Crick (3-5). The All-Star slugger advanced on Victor Caratini’s two-out walk and then hustled home from second on Heyward’s crisp opposite-field hit to left, sliding home just ahead of the tag attempt by catcher Elias Díaz.
Randy Rosario (1-0) the fourth of five Cubs relievers, got the last out of the eighth for the win. Craig Kimbrel pitched a perfect ninth for his third save in four chances.
NL Central-leading Chicago blew a late 3-0 lead before earning its third win in four games in the opener of an important nine-game homestand. Yu Darvish struck out eight while pitching six sparkling innings in one of his best starts since signing with the Cubs before last season.
Bryant snapped a scoreless tie when he led off the seventh with his 18th homer, a drive to left off Chris Archer after Melky Cabrera had trouble tracking his foul fly to right in the afternoon sun.
Robel Garcia added a sacrifice fly off Michael Feliz and pinch hitter David Bote made it 3-0 when he walked with the bases loaded. But the Cubs wasted a chance for more when Kyle Schwarber grounded into an inning-ending double play.
The Pirates then tied it in the top half of the eighth. With two out and runners on first and second, Starling Marte hit a long drive onto Waveland Avenue against setup man Pedro Strop. It was Marte’s first homer since June 27 and No. 13 on the year.
Darvish retired his first 13 batters. He allowed two hits and walked one, but remained winless in 13 appearances at Wrigley Field since joining the Cubs.
Archer struck out a season-high 10 in six-plus innings. He was charged with three runs and three hits.
BETTER AT HOME
Darvish entered Friday’s game 0-5 with a 6.03 ERA in 12 previous starts as a Cub at Wrigley.
Pirates: Manager Clint Hurdle said C Francisco Cervelli is working out at multiple positions as he tries to return from a concussion that has sidelined him since May 25. “It’s his call,” Hurdle said. “I’m in complete support of what Francisco wants for Francisco and how he wants it moving forward.” … Hurdle added there’s no timetable for OF Gregory Polanco (left shoulder inflammation) to return from a rehab assignment at Triple-A Indianapolis. Polanco has been out since June 16.
Cubs: LHP Cole Hamels, sidelined since June 28 with a strained left oblique, was scheduled to throw off flat ground on Friday. Manager Joe Maddon said the next steps would be determined on Saturday, but there’s no timetable for Hamels’ return.
Pirates left-hander Jordan Lyles (5-5, 4.36 ERA) faces Cubs lefty Jon Lester (8-6, 3.72 ERA) on Saturday. In seven starts since June 3, Lester is 5-2. This will be Lyles’ third start after a stint on the injured list with left hamstring tightness and follows a July 4 outing against the Cubs at Pittsburgh when he yielded seven runs in four innings. In that one, Maddon stormed onto the field and was ejected after Lyles buzzed All-Star Javier Báez with two inside pitches in the same at-bat.
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