CHICAGO – Miguel Andújar had thee hits and drove in three runs, Joshua Palacios hit a pinch-hit three-run homer and the Pittsburgh Pirates held off a late rally by the slumping Chicago Cubs in posting an 8-6 victory on Thursday night.
The loss was the 10th in last 13 games for the Cubs, who are now tied with the Miami Marlins for the final National League wild card spot.
Pittsburgh's Johan Oviedo (9-14) threw six scoreless innings, giving up four hits. The right-hander walked five but he escaped trouble on multiple occasions and held the Cubs to 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position.
Connor Joe and Ji Hwan Bae each added an RBI for the Pirates, whose bullpen surrendered six runs in the last three innings.
The Pirates took a 2-0 lead in the third inning when an error by shortstop Dansby Swanson on a potential double play set the stage for Andújar to drive in Joe and Bryan Reynolds with a two-out double into the right-center field gap.
Andújar knocked in another run in the fifth. His three hits and three RBIs came off Kyle Henricks (6-8), who went six innings and gave up seven hits and three runs (one earned).
The Pirates extended their lead to 5-1 in the eighth inning when Bae drove in Jared Triolo with a two-out RBI triple. Joe scored Bae with an RBI single before he was thrown out at second.
Chicago’s comeback efforts started in the seventh inning when Swanson hit an RBI single to make it 4-1. Mike Tauchman had an RBI double in the eighth and scored later on an RBI groundout from Nico Hoerner to make it 5-4.
Palacios homered in the ninth to make it 8-4.
Swanson reduced the deficit to two with a two-run homer in the ninth off All-Star David Bednar before the closer retired the next three hitters.
Cubs: RHP Brandon Hughes (right knee inflammation) is scheduled to make an appearance at Triple-A Iowa on Friday. ... RHP Nick Burdi (appendectomy) is slated to throw at Iowa on Saturday.
Pirates: The team has not announced who will oppose Cincinnati Reds LHP Andrew Abbott (8-5, 3.68 ERA) on Friday in the opener of a three-game series.
Cubs: RHP Jameson Taillon (7-10, 5.27) is scheduled to start against RHP Noah Davis (0-2, 9.58) when Chicago hosts the Colorado Rockies for a three-game series.
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