The Pirates dropped a close one to the Cubs, 6-5, leaving them with losses in both games of their two-game series in Chicago. All three of the players they traded to Chicago during the off-season — lefty Wilbur Cooper, shortstop Rabbit Maranville and first baseman Charlie Grimm — played key roles for the Cubs.
Maranville started the Cubs off in the bottom of the first against Vic Aldridge, whom the Pirates acquired in that big trade. The Cubs’ shortstop blooped a triple to short right field that brought in Sparky Adams, who’d reached on an error by shortstop Glenn Wright. Maranville scored on a sacrifice fly to put Chicago up, 2-0.
The Pirates took a while to get going, but once they did, they knocked out Cubs’ ace Pete Alexander. They took a 3-2 lead in the top of the fourth. Clyde Barnhart tied the game, following an infield hit by Kiki Cuyler with his second home run of the year. The Bucs missed a chance when Pie Traynor doubled after the home run. Glenn Wright blooped a single to short right, but Traynor held up initially at second, then got thrown out at third. Wright went to third on a walk and a ground out, then scored on an error by Cubs’ third baseman Howard Freigau.
The Bucs got two more in the fifth. Cuyler doubled in Max Carey with one out, prompting Cubs’ manager Bill Killefer to bring in Cooper. Cuyler went to third on a fly ball, then got picked off, but Cooper’s throw was wild, allowing Cuyler to score. The Pirates led, 5-2.
Other than the wild pickoff throw, the Pirates couldn’t do anything with Cooper. He stayed on through the seventh, retiring all eight batters he faced.
Aldridge held the lead into the bottom of the seventh, but his defense let him down. After he got the second out by fanning Barney Friberg, who batted for Cooper, Adams singled and Maranville reached on a wild throw by Wright. That left runners on second and third, but they both scored when Pie Traynor threw away Freigau’s grounder. Freigau then scored, tying the game 5-5, on a triple by Mandy Brooks.
The Pirates failed to score off Guy Bush in the top of the eighth. With one out in the bottom half, Grimm homered off Aldridge to put the Cubs up, 6-5.
The first two batters against Bush in the ninth reached base, but Killefer brought in Tony Kaufmann. He retired the next three hitters, including Stuffy McInnis, who made his first appearance for the Pirates as a pinch hitter.
Aldridge finished with a complete game and allowed only one earned run, but he took the loss to drop to 2-3. The Pirates fell to six and a half games behind the first-place Giants. They have two days off before opening a 15-game homestand against Philadelphia.