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Apr 21, 12:56 AM EDT

Pirates struggle against Arrieta in 5-2 loss to Cubs

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PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Pittsburgh Pirates manager Clint Hurdle was willing to give credit where it was due.

Jake Arrieta allowed only one run and three hits in seven innings to help the Chicago Cubs beat the Pirates 5-2 on Monday night.

Arrieta (2-1) struck out seven and walked none.

"We've seen their starting pitcher before and we know how good he is," Hurdle said. "Some nights, there really isn't anything you can do but tip your hat to the opposing pitcher. He pitched a great game, so all we can do is go home and come back tomorrow."

Starling Marte homered for the Pirates, who had their three-game winning streak snapped, in the bottom of the ninth inning and Andrew McCutchen had two hits, including an RBI single in the first. It was Marte's third home run in four games.

It was not enough, even though Pirates starter A.J. Burnett allowed only one run in six innings as he scattered eight hits while walking two and striking out one.

"Sometimes you've got to tip your cap to the other guy," Burnett said. "Arrieta was shoving."

Cubs rookie star Kris Bryant turned his tiebreaking two-run double into a Little League homer with some heads-up baserunning, and had three hits and three RBIs.

Bryant's double off the base of the left-center field fence in the seventh inning snapped a 1-all tie. He advanced to third base on the throw home and raced across the plate when catcher Francisco Cervelli missed the throw for an error.

"That was fun," Bryant said with a grin. "I don't ever remember ever running all around the bases like that before."

Bryant, who tied the game with an RBI single in the fifth, is 6 for 14 (.429) with four RBIs in four games since his much-anticipated callup from Triple-A Iowa on Friday. He was a spring training sensation, hitting nine home runs in 40 at-bats for the Cubs.

Jorge Soler, another rookie, went 4 for 5 with a one-out double in the seventh that started the go-ahead rally. Anthony Rizzo followed by drawing a walk then Bryant hit his double off Arquimedes Camninero (0-1).

The start of the game was delayed 28 minutes because of rain.


The game was delayed 23 minutes in the second inning after a female fan behind home plate was hit in the back of the head by a ball off the bat of Castro.

The woman was standing in the first row with her back toward the field when Castro fouled a ball straight back against the protective screen. The ball was hit with such force that it struck the fan.

The injured fan was eventually removed from the seating area on a stretcher. The Pirates said she was conscious and alert when she was taken to a hospital for testing.


Pirates: SS Jordy Mercer sat out with a bruised chest, an injury he sustained Sunday when he was hit by a pitch from Milwaukee RHP Matt Garza. Mercer might be ready to play Tuesday night. The Pirates said Sunday the injury was to Mercer's ribcage but Hurdle said Monday it was to the chest.


Cubs LHP Travis Wood (1-1) will face LHP Francisco Liriano (0-1) on Tuesday night in the second game of the four-game series. Wood is 3-4 with 4.28 ERA in 14 career games, including 13 starts against the Pirates. Liriano is 4-2 against the Cubs with a 2.30 ERA and has allowed more than two runs in just two of his nine starts against them.

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