Pirates Sweep Series, Defeat Cubs 9-5

Pablo Reyes went 3 for 4 with two RBI and was a home run shy of the cycle Thursday night

Matt Harkins
September 26, 2019 - 10:23 pm

© Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan) - The Pittsburgh Pirates came into this final homestand of the 2019 season on a 9-game losing streak, but they complete the three game sweep over the Chicago Cubs with a 9-5 victory Thursday night.

Over the final month of the season, the Pirates have been battling injuries, especially with the top players in their lineup, but against the Cubs they played a solid series all around to come away with the sweep and build momentum heading into the final series of the season and the off-season.

"The men that had the opportunity to play they came out and played, played baseball," said Manager Clint Hurdle. "From the top of the lineup to the bottom of the lineup, our at-bats were pretty solid. We didn't beat ourselves in the other side of the field playing defense. Our pitchers went from giving up 47 runs in 3 games to giving up 7."

Pablo Reyes brought home Melky Cabrera and Jose Osuna with an RBI triple in the bottom of the first inning to give the Pirates the early lead against Jose Quintana and the Cubs.

Three more runs would be added to the Pirates lead in the bottom of the third with an RBI double by Osuna that scored Kevin Newman and Adam Frazier and an RBI single by Jacob Stallings that scored Reyes to give Pittsburgh a 5-0 lead after three innings.

It didn't stop there for the Pirates offense agianst Quintana as they would add two more runs in the bottom of the fifth as Osuna scored on a throwing error by Cubs Shortstop Addison Russell and Reyes would score on an RBI single by Jake Elmore.

Pirates Starting Pitcher Joe Musgrove cruised through five innings Thursday night until he faced some turbulance from the Cubs in the sixth inning as they scored three runs to cut the Pirates lead to 7-3.

However, Musgrove was able to limit the damage and got out of the innig only allowing those three runs in his final start of the 2019 season to finish the year on a strong note heading into the off-season.

"I look at the whole year, I think the thing that I'm most proud of is my ability to stay on the field and be healthy," said Musgrove. "I've always felt like my productions good when I'm able to be healthy and getting myself out every fifth day. That was one of my big goals coming into the year was putting in the work in the off-season, especially coming off of a surgery, to be able to prepare myself for 32 starts and 160+ innings and I reached that goal this year which I'm super proud of."

Musgrove's final line of the night was six innings giving up three hits, three runs (two earned), two walks and struck out eight on 91 pitches (62 strikes).

The Pirates would get two of those runs back in the bottom of the sixth on an RBI single by Frazier that scored Corban Joseph and Cabrera would bring home Frazier with an RBI double to extend Pittsburgh's lead to 9-3.

In the top of the seventh, the Cubs would cut into the deficit again with an RBI double by Tony Kemp and RBI single by Nico Hoerner to cut into the Pirates lead and trailed 9-5.

Musgrove has grown into one of the leaders' in that clubhouse and was honest when giving his assessment of the season when talking to reporters after the game Thursday night. It has been a rough second half the season and he understands that it has been frustrating for the fans, but they have different and greater expectations as they look ahead to 2020.

"We didn't really give the fans a whole lot to look forward to this season and as much as we want to complain about not having a full crowd and not having a lot of action, a lot of noise out there," said Musgrove. "It's on us man, we didn't perform and with the price of tickets now I'm don't know if I'd pay that much to come out and watch a team that performed like we did this year. We understand that and we're thankful for the fans that are loyal and that came out everyday regardless of the situation we were in, but we got different expectations for next season. Going through what we went through this year, we understand what it takes to get through it. We've been through the worst of the worst, so we feel like it's only up from here and for us to sweep the Cubs and have a chance to go out and sweep the Reds to end our season, end on a high note is all positive for us."

Coming up at PNC Park Friday night, the Pirates will open up a three game weekend series against the Cincinnati Reds for their final series of the 2019 season and it will also be Steve Blass Weekend as he is retiring from the broadcast booth after 60 years with the organization as a player and broadcaster.

In game one of the series at PNC Park, Steven Brault (4-6, 5.07 ERA) will take the mound for Pittsburgh against Anthony DeSclafani (9-9, 3.84 ERA) and Cincinnati  at 7:05 pm Friday night.

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