Cubs rally but fall short 7-6 to Pirates

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 8, 2014 at 11:47 pm •  Published: April 8, 2014

CHICAGO (AP) — The Cubs showed some fight in their 7-6 loss to the Pirates on Tuesday night, and manager Rick Renteria came away with some positives.

"Had we laid down after the first inning, giving up four runs, I would have been extremely disappointed," Renteria said. "But we didn't. We kept chipping away. I think that's what we're talking about. We have to fight. We have to keep battling every day, and if they keep doing that, we're going to get our situation where both sides of our game get to where it needs to be."

The Cubs rallied twice, first from 4-0 in the first inning and then a 6-4 deficit in the fifth inning, for a tie at 6 on Anthony Rizzo's run-scoring single in the seventh. Starlin Castro got the rally started with a pair of home runs, including a three-run shot in the third inning.

Pedro Alvarez had two hits and two RBIs for the Pirates. Russell Martin drove in the go-ahead run on a sacrifice fly in the eighth inning and Jason Grilli closed with a perfect ninth for his second save in three chances.

Cubs right-hander Pedro Strop (0-1) walked two batters in the eighth and recorded only one out before being replaced by left-hander James Russell, who immediately walked Alvarez to load the bases and Martin followed with a fly ball to right field that made it 7-6.

The Cubs tied the game in the seventh against Tony Watson (1-0) on Rizzo's hit up the middle scoring Emilio Bonifacio, who went 3 for 5 and is batting .515.

Castro hit a game-tying three-run homer in the third and a solo shot in the sixth against Morton for his first career multi-homer game.

Cubs starting pitcher Edwin Jackson gave up six runs on nine hits in 4 2/3 innings. Jackson struggled with his command, walking four (one intentional) and hitting a batter. Pirates starter Charlie Morton didn't fare much better allowing five runs on eight hits in six innings.

Jackson's troubles began on the game's first pitch with a lead-off double by Starling Marte. It sparked a four-run inning and nine Pirates batted in the first.

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