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June 10, 2014

Rizzo has big game to carry Cubs past Pirates

Chicago — Anthony Rizzo homered, doubled twice and drove in three runs to lead the Chicago Cubs over the Pittsburgh Pirates 7-3 Tuesday night, spoiling Gregory Polanco’s much-anticipated debut.

Rizzo hit a two-run homer in the first inning off Francisco Liriano, who left in the fourth with discomfort on his right side.

Rizzo also doubled and scored in the fourth and hit an RBI double in the seventh, a drive to deep right-center that struck Polanco’s left wrist as the touted rookie tried to make the catch.

Polanco went 1 for 5 after getting called up from Triple-A Indianapolis, where the right fielder was leading the International League with a .347 batting average and 49 RBIs in 62 games.

Pinch-hitter Luis Valbuena’s two-run double off Casey Sadler (0-1) broke a 3-all tie and put Chicago ahead for good.

Travis Wood (6-5) allowed three runs and nine hits in 6 2⁄3 innings.

Andrew McCutchen hit a two-run homer for the Pirates, his ninth of the season and fifth in nine June games.

Valbuena and Junior Lake each had two hits for the Cubs, as did Pittsburgh’s Russell Martin and Starling Marte.

Rizzo scored on a single by Starlin Castro in the seventh to push Chicago’s lead to 7-3.

Rizzo’s homer put the Cubs up 2-0, but the Pirates tied it on McCutchen’s drive in the third.

In the top of the fourth, Rizzo led off with a double and scored on Darwin Barney’s double. Pittsburgh tied it again in the bottom half on pinch-hitter Jose Tabata’s RBI double.

Liriano allowed two runs in three-plus innings.

He bent over and held his back after throwing a pitch to Rizzo, then left the mound after a few warmup pitches.

After leading the Pirates with 16 wins last season, Liriano has struggled this year. He is 1-6 with a 4.60 ERA in 14 starts.

Notes: The Cubs released RHP Jose Veras, one week after designating him for assignment. He was 0-2 with an 8.10 ERA in 12 relief appearances while going 0 for 2 on save chances. ... Pittsburgh 3B Pedro Alvarez got the night off. He is 1 for 18 against Wood. ... Chicago RHP Jason Hammel (6-3, 2.53 ERA) is scheduled to start tonight against RHP Brandon Cumpton (1-2, 6.51).

 

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