CHICAGO (AP) — Miguel Andújar had thee hits and drove in three runs, Joshua Palacios hit a pinch-hit three-run homer in the ninth inning, and the Pittsburgh Pirates held off a late rally by the slumping Chicago Cubs to win 8-6 on Thursday night.
The loss was the 10th in the last 13 games for the Cubs, who fell into a tie with Miami for the final NL wild-card spot.
“We didn’t play our style of baseball,” Cubs manager David Ross said. “When we hit, we didn’t pitch. Some calls didn’t go our way. We’re not going to win when we don’t play clean baseball. Guys that don’t make mistakes, made mistakes. That’s just where we’re at right now.
“We got nine games left to play our style of baseball. We got to play better.”
Pittsburgh’s Johan Oviedo (9-14) threw six scoreless innings, giving up four hits. The right-hander walked five but escaped trouble on multiple occasions and held the Cubs hitless in eight at-bats with runners in scoring position.
Connor Joe and Ji Hwan Bae each drove in a run for the Pirates, whose bullpen surrendered six runs in the last three innings.
The Pirates took a 2-0 lead in the third when an error by shortstop Dansby Swanson on a potential double play set the stage for Andújar to drive in Joe and Bryan Reynolds with a two-out double into the right-center field gap.
Andújar knocked in another run in the fifth. His hits and RBIs all came against Kyle Hendricks (6-8), who went six innings and gave up seven hits and three runs (one earned).
“Obviously a little frustration, but no panic at all,” Hendricks said. “We still know what we’re capable of. We’re right where we want to be. It’s all in our control. We just got to play fundamental baseball and get back to playing the brand of baseball that we’re used to.”
The Pirates made it 5-1 in the eighth inning when Bae drove in Jared Triolo with a two-out RBI triple. Joe scored Bae with an RBI single before he was thrown out at second.
Mike Tauchman had an RBI double in the eighth and scored later on an RBI groundout from Nico Hoerner to get the Cubs within 5-4.
“This is a playoff-type atmosphere,” Pirates manager Derek Shelton said. “The crowd was in the game. They got back in the game because the Cubs kept punching back. I think you saw from our young players that they continue to go, continue to play, continue to execute and it was fun to watch.”
Palacios homered in the ninth to make it 8-4.
Swanson hit a two-run homer in the ninth off All-Star David Bednar before the closer retired the next three batters.
Cubs: RHP Brandon Hughes (right knee inflammation) is scheduled to make an appearance for Triple-A Iowa on Friday. … RHP Nick Burdi (appendectomy) is slated to throw for Iowa on Saturday.
Pirates: The team has not announced who will oppose Cincinnati Reds LHP Andrew Abbott (8-5, 3.68 ERA) on Friday in the opener of a three-game series.
Cubs: RHP Jameson Taillon (7-10, 5.27) is scheduled to start against RHP Noah Davis (0-2, 9.58) when Chicago hosts the Colorado Rockies to begin a three-game series.