PITTSBURGH (AP) — Patrick Wisdom hit a three-run homer, Adrian Sampson tossed six efficient innings and the Chicago Cubs beat the Pittsburgh Pirates, 8-3, on Sunday.
Wisdom took the first pitch he saw from reliever Manny Bañuelos and sent it into the Pirates bullpen well behind the center-field wall with two outs in the fifth. Wisdom became the fourth Cubs third baseman to reach the 25 home run-plateau in multiple seasons, joining Hall of Famer Ron Santo, Aramis Ramirez and Kris Bryant.
Esteban Quiroz, Ian Happ and Alfonso Rivas had two hits each for the Cubs, who took three of four from the Pirates to finish 5-2 on a seven-game trip through Miami and Pittsburgh.
Sampson (3-5) surrendered one run — a solo shot by Bryan Reynolds with two outs in the sixth — but otherwise had little trouble with a lineup featuring five rookie position players and seven players 25 or younger. Sampson allowed four hits with no walks and three strikeouts to trim his ERA to 3.23. The 30-year-old Sampson is 2-1 with a 1.55 ERA in five starts this month.
Brandon Hughes got his seventh save when he came on with the bases loaded and two outs in the ninth after the Pirates had chipped into a seven-run deficit against Erich Uelmen.
Hard-throwing rookie Luis Ortiz (0-1) took the loss despite in his third big-league start allowing just four runners in 4 2/3 innings. The 23-year-old, whose fastball regularly flirts with 100 mph, was removed after walking Zach McKinstry with two outs in the fifth.
Banuelos walked Quiroz on five pitches then saw Wisdom turn on a 93 mph sinker and sent it 445 feet to give Sampson all the support he would need.
Ortiz, who spent the majority of the season at Double-A Altoona, is making a compelling case he is ready to bid for spot in the starting rotation next spring. Ortiz was electric at times against Chicago, striking out seven against one hit and two walks. He narrowly missed out on an immaculate inning in the second when he struck out the side on 10 pitches, all 10 of them strikes.
Pittsburgh manager Derek Shelton removed Ortiz after his 80th pitch, a 3-1 fastball to McKinstry that missed badly, and Ortiz's ERA ticked up to 1.17 when Bañuelos couldn't get out of the inning.
Oneil Cruz and Ke'Bryan Hayes had two hits each for the Pirates, who have dropped nine of 10 and are in danger of losing 100 games in consecutive seasons for the first time since three in a row from 1952-54. Pittsburgh is 56-97 with nine games remaining.
Pittsburgh's defense has taken a significant step back in 2022. A year after committing just 70 errors — second fewest in the majors — the Pirates has an MLB-league leading 112 errors after adding three more Sunday, two each by Cruz at shortstop and catcher Jason Delay.
Cubs: Nico Hoerner went 1-for-5 as the designated hitter in his return to the lineup after missing nearly two weeks with tightness in his right triceps.
Cubs: Off Monday, then return home to face Philadelphia Phillies.
Pirates: Finish up a seven-game homestand with a three-game set against Cincinnati starting Monday. Chase Anderson (2-3, 5.21) starts for the Reds against Pittsburgh's Roansy Contreras (5-5, 3.68 ERA).
Copyright 2022 The Associated Press.