CHICAGO — Mitch Keller achieved an important milestone. The other only felt like one.
A day after the Cubs throttled the Pirates, which has been a fairly routine occurrence this season, manager Derek Shelton's team exacted some revenge on Wednesday with a 13-7 victory at Wrigley Field, knotting this series at a win apiece.
Although the big news was Mitch Keller becoming the first Pirates pitcher since Gerrit Cole (202) and Francisco Liriano (205) since 2015 to notch 200 strikeouts, the more pertinent impact arrived in the fourth inning, when the Pirates exploded for seven runs.
Apparently it is legal for a Pittsburgh offense to score a touchdown.
Meanwhile, Keller became the first Pirates pitcher since 2015 to clear the 200-strikeout mark, fanning a half-dozen Cubs to raise his season total to 204.
The Pirates (71-81) improved to 13-8 since Aug. 28 and 30-27 in their past 57 games. This marked just the third time in a dozen games of the season series that the Pirates beat the Cubs.
Facing a 1-0 deficit after right fielder Seiya Suzuki’s single in the second inning, the Pirates erupted for seven runs in the fourth inning, with the first six batters all tallying hits.
That’s the first time that has happened for Pittsburgh since Aug. 1, 2012, during a game that was also played at Wrigley Field.
Jack Suwinski created a 1-1 tie with his single up the middle on a slider up before Henry Davis produced one of the biggest at-bats of the game. He saw nine pitches from Cubs starter Justin Steele and shot a full-count heater into right for a two-run single.
Liover Peguero kept the rally going on a mistake slider from Steele, lining it past the pitcher’s head to give his team a 4-1 advantage. That meant curtains for Steele, though the Pirates weren’t done.
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