Local Sports

Cubs Double Up Pirates

Willson Contreras drew a standing ovation in perhaps his last home game at Wrigley Field, then keyed an early burst as the Chicago Cubs beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-2 Tuesday for their season-high sixth straight win.

 

Contreras, one of three members left from the 2016 World Series title team, tipped his cap after being cheered at the plate his first time up. He hit a soft single to center field in a three-run first inning off Bryse Wilson (1-6).

 

Contreras, an All-Star catcher who can become a free agent after this season, has acknowledged this might be his last homestand as a member of the Cubs before the Aug. 2 trade deadline. He saluted the fans with a fist in his last at-bat in the seventh but struck out against reliever Tyler Beede.

 

Seiya Suzuki, Ian Happ and Nico Hoerner hit consecutive doubles in the first to give Keegan Thompson (8-4) ample run support. Suzuki provided insurance with a homer in the eighth off reliever Will Crowe.

 

Thompson went a career-high seven innings.

 

Mychal Givens pitched the ninth to earn his second save. Closer David Robertson wasn't used for the second consecutive game after earning a win and save Saturday and Sunday at Philadelphia.

 

Thompson retired 16 of 18 batters before Hoerner committed a fielding error at shortstop with one out in the seventh, and 6-foot-7 rookie Oneil Cruz followed later with a two-run homer to center field.

 

Thompson completed the inning without further damage to top his previous high of 6 1/3 innings against the Reds on June 28.

 

Since the All-Star break, Cubs starters are 2-0 with a 2.03 ERA. Thompson has allowed two earned runs or fewer in five of his last seven starts.

 

After Hoerner's double, Wilson retired 14 of the next 17 hitters.

 

The Cubs will start LHP Justin Steele (4-6, 4.02) in the first game of a four-game series Thursday against the Giants. Steele allowed one run in five innings in a 15-2 win Friday over the Phillies.

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