Chicago Cubs Score and Recap (5/10/24): Cubs 7, Pirates 2 – Bellinger Blazing Hot in Win

The Cubs began a series against the Pirates Friday night at PNC Park after a rain delay of about one hour. It was definitely worth the wait for the visitors, as they exploded in the middle innings to win the game fairly easily.

Cody Bellinger got things going in the opening frame on a majestic solo home run against Pittsburgh hurler Jared Jones. Javier Assad was not particularly sharp early in the game, walking two batters after a throwing error by Christopher Morel to load the bases with one out for Nick Gonzales. The second baseman deposited a single into center to knock in a pair of runs and put the home team up 2-1.

The Cubs were able to even the score in the 5th when Bellinger doubled to right field and Nico Hoerner was able to come around from first base and reached the plate safely when pirate catcher Yasmani Grandal dropped the ball. Miguel Amaya gave Chicago a 3-2 lead with an RBI single in the 6th.

The North Siders broke the game open with four runs in the 7th inning against Hunter Stratton. Morel singled home one and Ian Happ doubled home another run before Nick Madrigal came through with a two-run single to put his team ahead 7-2.

Ben Brown took over in relief for Assad in the 5th and dominated for 3.2 innings, striking out six Pittsburgh hitters to keep them out of reach. Adbert Alzolay had a bit of an adventure in the 9th inning but the Cubs would win 7-2. (Box score)

Key Moment

The bullpen is always a question this season so getting a five-run cushion in the 7th inning was huge.

Why the Cubs Won

They came through with runners in scoring position and Brown did an excellent job to save the battered ‘pen.

Stats That Matter

  • Assad did not have his best stuff but he was solid as always and gave his team a chance to win: 4.1 IP, 2 R, 1 ER, 4 H, 4 K, and 2 BB.
  • Bellinger had four hits on Friday and has seven hits since returning from his injury on Tuesday.
  • Happ had two knocks and always seems to play well against the Pirates.

Bottom Line

Brown could be a real difference-maker in the bullpen if he pitches like he did Friday. Having Bellinger back makes the lineup much more dangerous and the return of Seiya Suzuki tomorrow will make it even better.

On Deck

The second game series is Saturday at 3:05pm CT. Justin Steele takes the mound against highly touted prospect Paul Skenes, who makes his MLB debut in a contest airing on Marquee and 670 The Score.

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