PITTSBURGH (AP) — JT Brubaker pitched into the sixth inning and had the first three RBIs of his career to lead the Pittsburgh Pirates over the Chicago Cubs 7-1 on Sunday.
Brubaker (1-0) allowed one run and four hits in 5 1/3 innings with four strikeouts and one walk. His two-run single down the right-field line capped a three-run second inning and gave the Pirates a 3-1 lead.
“I just wanted to put the ball in play,” said Brubaker, who is 2 for 4 this season after also getting a hit in his first career at-bat. “He threw me a fastball and I put a swing on it. If you asked me where it was in the zone, though, I couldn’t even tell you. I’m not that kind of hitter.”
Pittsburgh’s Bryan Reynolds had the third four-hit game of his career.
Trevor Williams (1-1) was hit hard in his return to Pittsburgh, where he spent the first five seasons of his career before being released in November. He was tagged for five runs and 10 hits in 3 1/3 innings.
Pirates catcher Jacob Stalllings said it felt strange to face Williams, who received a video tribute on the scoreboard when he warmed up in the first inning.
“Trevor is one of my really good friends and I just didn’t want to face him,” Stallings said. “It was weird, for sure.”
Wilmer Difo hit his first career pinch-hit home run as Pittsburgh won consecutive games for the first time this season.
Javier Báez accounted for the Cubs’ run with a second-inning homer. Chicago lost for the fourth time in five games and went 1 for 23 with runners in scoring position in losing two of three to Pittsburgh.
The Cubs have had five hits or fewer in six of their first nine games.
“I’m confident in this lineup,” Williams said. “We have guys who can take the ball out of the ballpark on any pitch. When we find our…