Some Pirates’ fielding miscues gave the Cubs six unearned runs, including three in the 11th inning, as the Bucs dropped a 9-7 decision. The win gave seventh-place Chicago three of four at Forbes Field.
The Bucs got the early lead against Cubs’ righty Tony Kaufmann, who’s been a bit of a nemesis for them this year. They picked up three in the second. Earl Smith got the first in with a one-out single that plated Glenn Wright and left runners at the corners. Smith got caught stealing, but walks to pitcher Ray Kremer and Max Carey loaded the bases to Fresco Thompson. He singled to plate two, making it 3-0.
Kremer threw shutout ball through the first four innings, but the defense let him down in the fifth. A wild throw by Pie Traynor on an attempted force at second put runners at the corners. A fly ball scored one run, then after a walk, Art Jahn singled to right. One run scored on the hit and a second on a bad throw by Kiki Cuyler. That tied the score at three.
The Pirates picked up another three-run lead in the bottom of the seventh. Thompson and Carson Bigbee, who were on first and second, pulled off a double steal. When catcher Gabby Harnett threw the ball into center field, Thompson scored, and Bigbee followed when center fielder Denver Grigsby threw the ball away. With two out, a single by Traynor and a triple by Wright made the score 6-3.
Unfortunately, Kremer let the Cubs come right back. Howard Freigau led off the top of the eighth with a home run, and that was followed by a single and a double. With runners at second and third, Babe Adams replaced Kremer, but former Pirate Charlie Grimm singled to drive in both runners and knot the score again. The Pirates got runners to second and third with one out in the bottom of the inning, but pinch runner Emil Yde was thrown out at the plate on a ground out by Thompson and Bigbee lined out.
Johnny Morrison came on for the ninth inning, and he and Kaufmann kept the score 6-6 until the 11th. Then the Pirates’ defense struck again. In the top of the 11th, the first two runners reached on errors by Wright, and Sparky Adams’ bunt went for a single to load the bases. The Cubs picked up one run on a fly ball and two more on a single by Freigau, making it 9-6.
With Kaufmann still on the mound, the Pirates could come back with only one run in the bottom half. Cuyler hit his 24th triple of the year with one out and scored on an infield hit by Traynor. But that was all.
Morrison took the loss, leaving his record at 16-12. Carey reached base five times on three hits and two walks. The Giants were off, so the Pirates’ lead dropped to seven and a half games.
The Pirates now head to St. Louis for five games, starting tomorrow.