1925 Pirate Replay, April 22: Pirates Beat Cubs in Home Opener

A crowd of 31,000 saw the Pirates face the Cubs in their first game of the season at Forbes Field.  An outstanding outing from Jughandle Johnny Morrison and seven triples gave the Bucs a 6-1 win.

The pitching matchup was a repeat of one from five days ago, with Tony Kaufmann starting for Chicago.  That one didn’t go well for Morrison, who got knocked out in the fourth inning of a 9-6 loss.  This time around, Kaufmann allowed the same number of runs as before, but Morrison went the distance, allowing just five hits and a walk.

The Cubs didn’t get a baserunner until there were two out in the fifth.  At that point, Hack Miller and Jigger Statz both singled to put runners on first and second.  Former Pirate Charlie Grimm beat out an infield hit to second baseman Eddie Moore, but Moore caught Miller rounding third, and he was tagged out in a rundown between Pie Traynor and catcher Earl Smith.  Chicago’s only run came in the sixth when Kaufmann doubled and came around on a bunt and a ground out.  Starting with the RBI ground out, Morrison retired nine straight batters.

At the time, Kaufmann’s run tied the game.  The Pirates had scored in the bottom of the third when Morrison and Clyde Barnhart led off with back-to-back triples.  Max Carey followed Barnhart’s hit with a walk and a steal, putting runners on second and third with nobody out, but the next three hitters failed to get a run in.

After the Cubs tied it in the sixth, the Pirates took the lead back in the bottom half.  This time Traynor led off with a triple.  Kiki Cuyler singled to drive Traynor in, then came around on singles by Al Niehaus and Smith.  That made it 3-1.

The Bucs put the game away in the bottom of the eighth.  Cuyler led off the inning with a triple and, after a pop up, the Cubs walked Smith to get to Morrison.  Smith stole second and then Morrison drove in both runners with his second triple of the game.  A single by Carey brought in the last run, extending the lead to 6-1.

Morrison gave up a one-out single in the ninth, the Cubs’ only hit since the sixth, and that was it.  He improved his record to 1-1, making him the first pitcher besides Lee Meadows to win a game for the Pirates.  Barnhart, Traynor and Morrison each had two triples.  Cuyler had one and reached base four times.  The team’s record improved to 3-5.