The Pirates headed to Chicago for a one-game, Sunday visit, a product of Pennsylvania’s blue laws. It turned out to be a productive visit, as Vic Aldridge threw a complete game four-hitter and everybody in the lineup scored or drove in at least one run. The result was an easy, 9-2 win.
Aldridge mostly had an easy time of it. He set the Cubs down in order five times and missed a sixth only because of an error.
Chicago picked up a single run in the fifth when Gabby Hartnett doubled to drive in former Buc Charlie Grimm. That left runners at second and third with nobody out, but Aldridge got an unorthodox double play. Butch Weis grounded to first and Stuffy McInnis stepped on the bag. McInnis threw to shortstop Glenn Wright to try to catch Hartnett off second, but the runner from third went for the plate and Wright’s throw to catcher Earl Smith got the second out. A grounder ended the inning.
The Cubs’ only other run came in the sixth on a two-out single. Aldridge retired the last ten batters he faced.
By the time Chicago got on the board, the Pirates already had a 6-0 lead. Cubs’ starter Sheriff Blake walked a pair of batters in the second. Along with one single, that produced run-scoring ground outs by Wright and Smith. Two more scored in the fourth when Pie Traynor doubled to drive in Clyde Barnhart and McInnis singled in Traynor.
The Pirates played the game without Eddie Moore, who was shaken up yesterday, and Max Carey, who still hasn’t fully recovered from an injury that kept him out for several weeks. They were replaced at the top of the order by Carson Bigbee and rookie Fresco Thompson, making his first major league start. The subs helped fuel a fifth-inning rally when Bigbee beat out a bunt and Thompson singled. Bigbee came around to score on a bad throw by right fielder Cliff Heathcote, then Kiki Cuyler doubled to drive in Thompson.
The Bucs added on two more after Chicago got its first run. In the top of the sixth, Wright led off with a single and took third on a double by McInnis. Wright scored when Smith grounded to short and catcher Gabby Hartnett dropped the throw home. Bigbee got McInnis home with a sacrifice fly, running the score to 8-1. The Pirates got their final run in the eighth when Aldridge singled to drive in Wright.
Aldridge is now 12-6, having won his last five games. The Giants were off, so the Pirates’ first-place lead expanded to eight and a half games. Both teams travel to Pittsburgh for a four-game series starting with a doubleheader tomorrow.