Home Pittsburgh Sports College Football Kang injured in Pirates 9-6 loss to Chicago

Kang injured in Pirates 9-6 loss to Chicago

Jung Ho Kang was injured in the first inning before the Cubs exploded for six runs in the fifth to beat the Pirates 9-6, cutting the Bucs Wild Card lead to two games.

Charlie Morton was lit up for five runs in 4+ innings to fall to 9-8 on the year.

Chicago opened the top of the first with a pair of singles before Kang mishandled a throw by Neil Walker, allowing Chris Coghlan to reach first on an error. Anthony Rizzo then gave Walker another double-play opportunity, which was turned, but Coghlan’s takeout slide at second wiped Kang out. Kang left the game with the help of two trainers. He had surgery Thursday night for a “tibial plateau fracture with lateral meniscal repair,” according to a Pirates statement. He’s expected to miss between six and eight months.

“It’s a hard slide. I’ve gotta look at the play before I can comment any further on it,” manager Clint Hurdle said of the play.

“It’s unfortunate,” Jordy Mercer said. Mercer landed on the disabled-list in July on a similar takeout slide. “It’s tough not being out there and helping your team.”

The Cubs continued to tack on in the second when Addison Russell knocked home Miguel Montero with a double before scoring on Tommy La Stella’s two-bagger to make it 3-0 Cubs.

The Pirates’ lefties were able to get the Pirates back in the game via the long ball off of starter Kyle Hendricks. Travis Snider opened the scoring with a solo shot to center in the second before Gregory Polanco deposited a ball in the same spot in the third to make it 3-2 Cubs. After Neil Walker was hit by a pitch, Pedro Alvarez clobbered a two-out shot over the Clemente wall to give the Pirates their first and only lead of the day, 4-3 after three. Hendricks was sent to the showers after the inning.

The Cubs rallied once again in the fifth for what proved to be the deciding blow. After a two-run homer by Rizzo gave the Cubs a 5-4 lead. With nobody away, Kris Bryant singled to chase Morton and bring in Joe Blanton.

“I made four really bad pitches with changeups [today],” Morton said. “…changeup’s been a pretty good go-to pitch for me, and today it was just terrible.”

Blanton started his work with a ground ball to Alvarez, but the first baseman fanned at the potential double-play ball, and the floodgates opened. The Cubs would plate six in the inning, highlighted by a two-run double by former Pirates minor league pitcher Clayton Richard (4-2), and make it 9-4.

The Pirates crept back in the seventh with a pair of runs courtesy of RBI knocks from Polanco and Walker, but that was the end of the comeback bid. Travis Wood entered in the eighth and tossed two scoreless innings to pick up his second save of the year to secure the 9-6 win.

ON DECK:
The Pirates will begin their final road trip of the season with a three game series in Los Angeles. The Dodgers will send Cy Young candidate Zach Grienke.

NUMB3RS:
1. Alvarez tied Jason Bay for 2nd all-time in home runs at PNC Park with 61.

2. Alvarez also clinched his fourth straight 20 error season in the 5th inning.

3. This was the first Pirates’ series loss at PNC Park since the Reds June 23-25. They were 10-0-1 in their previous 11.

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