Pirates try to get back at Cubs, end losing skid

The Chicago Cubs are finding ways to make games — or at least moments — count as they run out the string in a losing season.

On Thursday, in the series opener against the host Pittsburgh Pirates, it was an immaculate inning within a strong start by rookie right-hander Hayden Wesneski, plus outfielder Michael Hermosillo going 2-for-4 with an RBI single after entering the night 3-for-23 in September.

“You start thinking about it the seventh, eighth pitch,” said Wesneski, who became the first Cubs pitcher to strike out a side on nine pitches since 2004. “The ninth one, you just let it rip and hope it happens.”

After the 3-2 victory on Thursday, the Cubs (65-85) are 8-5 in their past 13 games.

On Friday, the Pirates will be looking to end a seven-game losing streak as they play the final 13 games against National League Central teams.

As the Pirates (55-95) chug toward a possible 100 losses, they might get some help from All-Star closer David Bednar if they can keep games close — and if he successfully bounces back after a back injury.

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