PITTSBURGH (AP) — Bligh Madris hit his first major league home run and fellow rookie Roansy Contreras pitched five solid innings to lead the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 7-1 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday night.
Madris connected in the sixth for a solo shot to right-center field off Mark Leiter Jr. to close the scoring. It came a day after Madris had three hits in his big league debut.
“It’s been really special,” Madris said. “I don’t think anyone can imagine exactly what it’s going to be like when you come to the big leagues. So, I think it’s pretty unexpected to think it’s going to be like this. I’m just going out there and trying to help the team win, but it’s been a pretty special two days. You really couldn’t draw it up like this.”
Contreras (2-1) allowed one run and four hits while striking out three and walking two. He had given up four runs in each of his previous two starts.
He got through a 32-pitch first inning without allowing a run.
“For young pitchers, they can let that unravel when they don’t have their best stuff, and he still was able to go out and execute pitches, get us through five, was able to spot his fastball,” Pittsburgh manager Derek Shelton said. “For a 22-year-old, it’s only going to move upward from there.”
Anthony Banda, Chris Stratton and rookie Yerry De Los Santos combined for four scoreless innings of relief.
Michael Perez also homered for the Pirates, and Daniel Vogelbach went 2 for 2 with two walks and two RBIs. Pittsburgh won its third straight game after losing 11 of 12.
“When I feel I’m at my best is when I’m walking and I’m hitting at the same time because I’m a believer that walking is hitting,” Vogelbach said. “Sometimes, you can’t control whether they throw you strikes….