Johnny Morrison got battered for nine runs in less than four innings as the Pirates lost to the Cubs, 9-6. The loss left the Bucs with just one win in their four-game, season-opening series in Chicago.
The game started off well enough. The Pirates got a run in the first when Max Carey and Eddie Moore both singled with one out, putting runners at the corners. Pie Traynor’s shallow fly fell in front of center fielder Jigger Statz. He recovered to throw to second for a force out, but Carey scored on the play.
The lead didn’t last long. In the bottom of the inning, a hit batsman and a pair of groundball singles tied the game. An error by first baseman George Grantham on a bunt attempt put the Cubs ahead, and Hack Miller, who went 4-for-4 on the day, singled to make it 3-1.
The Pirates came back to tie the game in the top of the third. Johnny Gooch and Carson Bigbee both doubled, and Moore singled to drive in Bigbee. The Cubs, though, came storming back against Morrison. They got three runs in the bottom of the third when Gabby Hartnett and Statz both homered. For Hartnett, it was the fourth homer in the series, and Statz’ clout came with Miller on board. Chicago finally chased Morrison in the fourth, as he retired only one batter in the inning before giving way to Lou Koupal, who made his major league debut. An error by Glenn Wright, who had two in the game, set up an RBI single by Hartnett and a two-run single by Miller. Morrison was charged with nine runs, seven of them earned, on nine hits.
The Pirates tried to chip away against Cubs’ starter Tony Kaufman. Moore made it 9-5 with a two-run single in the top of the fifth. That gave him three hits and three RBIs on the day. Carey drove in the final run in the seventh with a ground out. Kaufman finished the game, allowing nine hits.
Along with Moore, Bigbee had three hits. Gooch had two and scored three times. The Pirates got some good pitching in relief from Koupal and lefty Don Songer, who combined to throw four and two-third scoreless innings. The outfielders helped, as each of the three–Carey, Bigbee and Kiki Cuyler–threw out a runner on the bases. The Pirates now head to Cincinnati for a three-game series.