When Michael Chavis hit a bloop that fell into the shallow right field for a single, Ke’Bryan Hayes sprinted to home plate and headed over to receiver Willson Contreras to score the winning point.
When Hayes lay face down on the ground, he tempered the celebration of the Pittsburgh Pirates’ 8-7 victory in a walk-off in the tenth inning Thursday afternoon against the Chicago Cubs. The Pirates have won three games in the four-game series between NL Central rivals.
When the fireworks exploded over PNC Park, however, silence fell over the crowd of 14,529 until Hayes rolled over and reached for his left shoulder as team manager Rafael Freitas took care of third base.
“I think it went from a walk away enthusiasm to a quieter crowd than you can get for a walk away,” said Pirates manager Derek Shelton. “When you have a guy like Ke ‘who sticks and stays down for a second … major league wins are major league wins, and that’s important and we won a streak, but the worry at that point was just making sure. that it was OK. ”
Hayes eventually got up and walked off the field alone. The fact that he stretched and rotated his left arm was seen as a positive sign, but Hayes was not available for comment after the game as he was doing a broad evaluation of his left shoulder by the medical staff. The threat of potential injury for a player who signed a $ 70 million eight-year contract before the home opener also threw a cloud of victory.
It certainly overshadowed the late-game heroism of Chavis, who scored a tie home run in the eighth inning after the Pirates bullpen lost a four-point lead, then made a dazzling defensive play to prevent a run in the top of the 10th before clinching the winning streak in what Shelton called “a nice 30 minute climax for Michael Chavis”.
“Everything is all butterflies until you see Key walk in,” Chavis said. “Immediately, with the way he’s slipped in, you see contact with the knee or shin and you’re like, ‘I hope it’s okay.’ Everyone knows that slipping headlong home is a little scary. When he didn’t get up, didn’t turn around and didn’t react immediately, everyone held their breath for a while. ”
Pirates southpaw Jose Quintana (2-4) provided a quality start, recording as many strikeouts (six) as allowed hits and forgoing a single walk as he threw 53 of his 83 strike throws.
The Pirates came to Cubs starter Justin Steele (2-6) when Bryan Reynolds took them 1-0 lead at the bottom of the first inning when he led a 1-1 fastball at 405 feet to center his best 12th of off-field team.
Quintana got into a jam by loading the bases in third on soft touch as Nico Hoerner hit the shot on one ground to the second, Nelson Velazquez equalized and PJ Higgins got another single inside on a dribble that Quintana tried to pick up and relay with his glove.
Hoerner scored when Contreras went down in a second-place forceout to equalize at 1-1, and Ian Happ chose a shallow center to score Velazquez for a 2-1 Cubs lead.
It didn’t last long as Hayes sent Steele’s 0-2 slider over the wall at the North Side Notch in left center, a 411-foot shot for his third home run and a 3-2 lead over the Pirates.
In the lower fifth, the Pirates took advantage of consecutive Cubs mistakes when Hayes hit second baseman Jonathan Villar and scored when Patrick Wisdom failed to manage Reynolds ground in third place for a 4- 2 .
The Pirates extended their lead in sixth place when Yu Chang scored a double left and scored when Oneil Cruz hit a brace from the midfield wall for a 5-2 lead.
Dating back to his major league debut last October, Cruz has led in a run in each of his first six career games (10 in total), making him one of three players to do so since the RBI became an official statistic in 1920. .
Cruz made a fantastic play on the pitch saving a run in seventh place. After Hoerner doubled up on the left, smashing Jack Suwinski into the wall, Cruz made a diving stop to his left on a Velazquez ground to keep Hoerner in third place.
Chavis drew 7-7 at the bottom of the eighth, hitting the first pitch of David Robertson, a slider, at 410 feet in the visiting bullpen for his seventh home run. David Bednar threw a ninth goalless score for the Pirates, clapping the glove in celebration after knocking out Happ and Wisdom.
Chris Stratton pitched 10th for the Pirates, which saw Wisdom start from second base and advance to third on a fly right from Yan Gomes.
Chavis reversed Jason Heyward’s Grounder and fired a shot at Tyler Heineman’s receiver to bring Wisdom home. The Cubs disputed the call, claiming Heineman blocked the pot, but the call remained after a video review.
The bottom of the tenth began with Hayes in the second, with Scott Effross intentionally knocking out Reynolds before taking out Diego Castillo. This brought Chavis to the pot, looking to continue his positive play. After taking a first hit called, Chavis hit a ballast.
“I thought he would give us a good joke,” Shelton said. “I was just happy that he was off the ball and he didn’t try to do too much. Sometimes, well placed shots are the best thing. ”
The ending wasn’t the way Chavis or the Pirates would have scripted it, especially before a six-game trip to Tampa Bay and Washington, but the Pirates were happy with a series win over the Cubs after absorbing the 14-5 loss. on Wednesday evening.
“I’m not sure I’ve ever had an embarrassing abandonment. They are usually quite celebratory. That was definitely one of the more in-between, “Chavis said.” Ke ‘walked off the pitch. He stood up, so that’s the most important thing we focused on. Yelling at him just for breaking his butt for score that run. When I checked it, I was like, ‘I know you’re high, but I appreciate the effort you’re putting in.’ At the end of the day, that’s really all you can say. It sucks that he was a little beaten up, but I appreciate that he jumped in there to score that point. ”
Kevin Gorman is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Kevin by email at email@example.com or via Twitter .