Hammel goes to 4-0, Rizzo hits 2 doubles in Cubs' win
PITTSBURGH (AP) Bad blood from October carried over into May.
Jason Hammel raised his record to 4-0 and Anthony Rizzo hit two doubles as the Chicago Cubs beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 7-2 on Monday night.
Home plate umpire Laz Diaz warned both benches after Pirates reliever Kyle Lobstein hit Ben Zobrist with a pitch to lead off the seventh. That came after Hammel hit the last batter he faced, Starling Marte, with a pitch to start the bottom of the sixth.
The teams had a benches-clearing incident in last year's NL wild card game when Pirates reliever Tony Watson plunked Jake Arrieta, who went on to a pitch a five-hit shutout. Pittsburgh utility infielder Sean Rodriguez was ejected from that game.
Cubs manager Joe Maddon yelled at Lobstein from the dugout then got into a shouting match with Pirates catcher Francisco Cervelli. Maddon and Cervelli became friends in the offseason when Cervelli worked out at a gym owned by Maddon's wife, Jaye, in Tampa, Florida.
''I like him. I really do,'' Maddon said. ''It's always fun to vent. We've all been there. You have to vent on occasion. The worst thing for your health in the long term is to hold that stuff in.''
Cervelli said he was standing up for Lobstein.
''He's my one of my guys,'' Cervelli said. ''I've got to protect my guys if someone starts yelling at them.''
Hammel's ERA rose to 1.24 after entering the game with a National League-leading 0.75 mark. He gave up two runs and five hits in five-plus innings with three strikeouts and one walk. His streak of five straight starts of allowing one run or fewer ended.
''With the way things kind of played out, I didn't have my best command,'' Hammel said. ''They extended some at-bats and had some pitches to hit and just missed them. I'd like to be able to throw more than 90 pitches but the ultimate goal is to win. That's all that really matters.''
Rizzo hit an RBI double and scored in the third inning as the Cubs went ahead 2-1, then doubled again during a four-run fifth that pushed the lead to 6-1.
The Cubs improved to 18-6, tops in the major leagues, and avoided losing consecutive games for the first time this season while winning for the fifth time in six games.
Dexter Fowler had two hits for the Cubs, including a double, and two stolen bases and Javier Baez had two of Chicago's 11 hits. David Ross hit a two-run single in the fifth, Zobrist had two RBIs and Kris Bryant extended his hitting streak to eight games.
''The running theme for us this season has been having good at-bats and we had a lot of them,'' Ross said.
Gerrit Cole (2-3) was roughed up for six runs - five earned - and six hits in 4 2/3 innings after winning his previous two starts. He struck out six but walked four in losing to the Cubs for just the second time in nine regular-season decisions.
Jordy Mercer went 3 for 3 with a walk for Pittsburgh and has reached base in 14 straight games but Josh Harrison's 10-game hitting streak ended as he went 0 for 4. Andrew McCutchen drove in both Pirates' run with a first-inning homer, his sixth, and a ground out in the fifth.
The Pirates lost their second straight game after winning six in a row.
In addition to Ross' single, Zobrist hit a sacrifice fly in the fifth and Matt Szczur scored on a throwing error by Harrison, the second baseman, on the back end of a delayed double steal attempt.
Zobrist scored on a wild pitch by Lobstein in the seventh after getting hit to increase the Cubs' lead to 7-2.
''It was an earned run for them, so I guess they're happy and it was a run for us so that made me happy,'' Zobrist said.
Cubs: RF Jason Heyward (sore right wrist) missed his first game of the season and might also sit out Tuesday night. He said he has felt discomfort since first week of the season. . Szczur, who took Heyward's place in the lineup, left the game with right hamstring tightness after scoring in the fifth inning and is scheduled for an MRI on Tuesday morning.
Pirates: C Elias Diaz will undergo right elbow surgery sometime later this week. Though the team did not offer specifics, Diaz's agent, Gerardo Boscan, tweeted that the rookie would not require Tommy John surgery.
Cubs: Arrieta (5-0, 1.00) make his first start in May on Tuesday night after winning all five outings in April. He is 6-1 with a 1.68 ERA against the Pirates in nine regular-season starts in addition to the wild card win.
Pirates: LHP Jon Niese (3-0, 5.08) has won his first three decisions for the first time in his nine-year career but is 3-6 against the Cubs.