Tyler Chatwood tied his career high of 11 strikeouts while tossing 6 2/3 shutout innings to help the Chicago Cubs defeat the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates 4-3 on Saturday night.
Ian Happ and Javier Baez hit solo homers and Kyle Schwarber smacked a two-run shot as Chicago won its second straight game and fifth in the past six.
Happ, Schwarber and Willson Contreras each had two hits.
The right-handed Chatwood (2-0) gave up three hits and walked two in a 96-pitch effort. He has fanned 19 and allowed one run and six hits in 12 2/3 innings over his first two starts.
Chicago third baseman Kris Bryant was scratched from the lineup shortly before first pitch due to gastrointestinal issues.
The Pirates rallied in the ninth inning, cutting the deficit in half when Colin Moran smashed a two-run homer to right center — his fifth of the season — off left-hander Kyle Ryan with one out. Bryan Reynolds followed with a double against Ryan before right-hander Rowan Wick entered the contest.
Reynolds cruised over to third on fielder’s indifference with the Cubs in a shift for left-handed-hitting Gregory Polanco, and the latter soon grounded out to score Reynolds.
Wick then walked Phillip Evans before inducing pinch-hitter Jose Osuna to ground out for Wick’s first save of the season and third of his career.
Reynolds and Kevin Newman had two hits apiece for Pittsburgh. The Pirates have lost three straight games.
Happ put the Cubs ahead when he drove a 1-2 curveball from Pirates right-hander Mitch Keller (1-1) over the fence in left center with one out in the third. Two batters later, Baez slugged a 2-0 fastball 448 feet to straightaway center to make it 2-0.
Chatwood protected the lead with his strong pitching.
After allowing a leadoff double to Adam Frazier, Chatwood didn’t give up another hit until the seventh inning.
Newman reached on an infield hit to start the frame and Reynolds lined a two-out single. Chatwood walked Polanco to load the bases and was pulled in favor of right-hander Jeremy Jeffress, who induced Evans to ground out to end the inning.
Jeffress followed by working a flawless eighth inning.
Baez walked off right-hander Michael Feliz to start the bottom of the eighth, and Schwarber followed with an opposite-field blast over the wall in left to make it a four-run cushion.
Keller gave up two runs and five hits over 2 2/3 innings before exiting due to left side discomfort.
Keller served up the homers to Happ and Baez during the third inning and was facing Contreras with two out when he bounced a pitch to the plate. He immediately motioned to the dugout and was pulled and right-hander Chris Stratton came in to pitch.