Harrison, Worley Power Pirates
CHICAGO – Josh Harrison homered and drove in three runs, leading Vance Worley and the Pittsburgh Pirates to a rain-delayed 5-3 victory against the Chicago Cubs on Saturday night.
Jordy Mercer went deep for the second straight day and Andrew McCutchen had a tiebreaking RBI single for Pittsburgh, which had lost 4 of 5. Worley (1-0) pitched into the seventh inning for his first victory with the Pirates.
Harrison’s fifth homer with two out in the seventh made it 5-2 and came after Gregory Polanco was awarded first after a replay review determined he had beat out his sharp grounder to shortstop. The rangy rookie was originally called out on the close play at first.
The review also extended Polanco’s hit streak to 11 games, making him the first NL player to begin his major league career with such a streak since Juan Pierre hit in 16 straight games for Colorado in 2000.
Anthony Rizzo hit a two-run homer for Chicago, which had won four of five. Eli Whiteside added a run-scoring double in the seventh.
The start of the game was delayed for 2 hours, 1 minute while a storm passed through the area.
Rizzo’s 15th homer, a drive to the bleachers in right in the fourth, gave the Cubs a 2-1 lead. The big first baseman, making a case for a spot on the NL All-Star team, is batting .318 (27-for-85) with seven homers and 19 RBI in his last 23 games.
Pittsburgh responded in the fifth. With two outs and runners on first and second, Harrison and McCutchen each singled back up the middle to put the Pirates back in front. Brian Schlitter then replaced Travis Wood with runners on the corners and retired Russell Martin on a bouncer to third for the final out.
Wood (7-6) allowed four hits, walked three and struck out four. The left-hander had won each of his last two starts, including a season-high eight innings of three-hit ball in a 3-0 victory at Philadelphia in his previous outing.
Worley gave up three runs and five hits in 6 2-3 innings. The righty, who was acquired in a March 25 trade with Minnesota, pitched seven shutout innings in his first start of the season last Sunday at Miami.
Jared Hughes got the final out of the seventh, Tony Watson tossed a perfect eighth and Mark Melancon struck out the side for his 11th save in 14 chances. It was Melancon’s first opportunity since manager Clint Hurdle announced on Friday he was removing struggling righty Jason Grilli from the closer role.
The Pirates played without speedy outfielder Starling Marte, who left the team to attend to a personal matter in his native Dominican Republic. Jose Tabata got the start in left and went 0 for 3 with a walk.
Hurdle said he thinks Marte will be back in time for Monday night’s game at Tampa Bay.
NOTES: McCutchen was shaken up after he took a hard tag to his head when he stole second in the fourth inning. He stayed in the game after a trainer and Hurdle came out to check on him. … Cubs C Welington Castillo (rib injury) went 1 for 5 and drove in a run in his first rehab game with Triple-A Iowa on Friday. “Felt good, and he continues to progress,” Cubs manager Rick Renteria said before Saturday’s game … Cubs RHP Jason Hammel (6-4, 3.02 ERA) faces RHP Brandon Cumpton (2-2, 5.82 ERA) in the series finale on Sunday.
Jay Cohen can be reached at www.twitter.com/jcohenap
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.