PITTSBURGH (AP) — Ian Happ and Patrick Wisdom hit two-run homers early and Alfonso Rivas added a grand slam off a position player late as the Chicago Cubs routed the Pittsburgh Pirates 14-5 Wednesday night.
Held to a total of two runs in the first two games of the series, Chicago broke out for seven runs in the second inning.
The Cubs loaded the bases and Jared Eickhoff (0-1) then hit Rivas with a pitch. Rafael Ortega doubled to score two and Patrick Wisdom singled home two more and brought up Happ.
Happ sent a first-pitch fastball to the shrubbery atop the center field wall. The Pittsburgh native continued his torrid June and is now hitting .380 with eight RBIs and three home runs this month. He said being decisive and aggressive has helped fuel his strong month.
“Just trying to see something up in the zone,” Happ said. “I got a good pitch to hit there and was able to capitalize. … You need some of those little confidence boosts and then try to ride that out.”
Wisdom homered to nearly the same spot in the ballpark in the fourth.
Eickhoff made his 2022 debut and allowed 10 runs on 10 hits in 4 1/3 innings. He became the first Pirates pitcher to give up 10 runs in his first outing with the team. He also gave up 10 runs in his first start with the New York Mets in 2021.
Chicago starter Keegan Thompson (7-2) worked six innings and allowed four hits. He struck out seven and gave up one run, a solo homer by Diego Castillo in the second.
With the game out of hand late, Castillo moved from second base to the mound to pitch the ninth inning for Pittsburgh. He loaded the bases with two walks and a hit batter before Rivas hit a 65-mph offering to the right field seats for his first career grand slam.
Later in the inning, Chicago manager David Ross let relief…