The newly promoted Oneil Cruz drove in four runs to give the Pittsburgh Pirates a 12-1 win over the Chicago Cubs on Monday night.
PITTSBURGH — Newly promoted Oneil Cruz drove in four runs and Bligh Madris scored three on his major league debut, leading the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 12-1 win over the Chicago Cubs on Monday night.
Both rookies were called up earlier in the day by Triple-A Indianapolis and delivered immediately.
Cruz, considered Pittsburgh’s top prospect, hit a three-run double to deep center field that capped a four-run third inning to push the Pirates’ lead to 7-0. He played in the third league game of his career.
The 6-foot-7 Cruz also hit an RBI single in a five-run seventh run as the Pirates posted a season high for runs. He started in the final two games of last season when he became the tallest shortstop in major league history.
Cruz’s double had an exit speed of 112.9 mph, his throw to first base on a groundout was measured at 96.7 mph, and his sprint speed while running bases was recorded at up to 31.5 fps. All rank among the highest marks by a Pirates player since the MLB Statcast era began in 2015.
“He can affect the game in many ways, and we saw that tonight,” Pittsburgh manager Derek Shelton said.
Madris hit a two-run single in the second inning in his first at-bat in the majors. The outfielder played a three-run inning that included the first of Hoy Park’s two sacrifice flies.
Madris became the first Pirates player to have a three-goal game on his debut since Jason Kendall in 1996.
“It was a lot of fun and everything I could have wished for,” said Madris with a big smile. “As (the batting practice) got canceled today when I pitted, it really was my first batting in the big leagues. The game threw me a little bit of everything today. Thank you for the opportunity. It was fantastic.”
JT Brubaker (1-7) pitched six scoreless innings for his first win since last August 24, a 14-start streak.
Brubaker scattered five hits while hitting five and walking three. He has a 2.65 ERA in his last six starts.
“I go out there to compete and put the team in the best (position) to win the game,” Brubaker said. “I don’t care if I get one under the W pillar or not. I just want Team Ws.”
The Pirates took advantage of five walks from rookie Caleb Kilian (0-2), who was tagged for seven runs in 2 1/3 innings. Kilian was in professional life for the third time.
“He didn’t consistently repeat throwing balls in the zone,” Chicago coach David Ross said. “Just a lot of uncompetitive pitches and he got back on the count. It was just a tough 2 2/3 innings for him.”
Daniel Vogelbach hit a two-run double in the Pirates’ big seventh inning and Tyler Heineman’s RBI double made it 12-1.
The Cubs scored their seventh place run on Ian Happ’s single. Happ, Rafael Ortega and Nico Hoerner each had two goals.
Both teams came into Monday after losing 11 of their last 13 games.
Cruz hit .232 with nine homers and 11 stolen bases in 55 games at Indianapolis. Madris became the 12th Pirates player to make his major league debut that year.
Cruz is the third shortstop in Big League history to have seven RBIs in his first three career games, along with Hall of Famers Paul Molitor and Trevor Story.
Madris became the first Pirates player to have a hit, RBI and a stolen base in his first big league game since Andrew McCutchen in 2009.
The Cubs recalled outfielder Nelson Velazquez from Triple-A Iowa and selected right-hander Adrian Sampson to the same club.
Velazquez, MVP of the Arizona Fall League last year, is one of 15 rookies in action for the Cubs this season. He made his debut on April 30.
The game was delayed a few minutes at the end of the second inning when a squirrel ran onto the field.
The squirrel appeared to enter from the stands on the third plinth side. He then stormed into the left field corner.
Three members of the ground crew were able to persuade the creature to leave the field through the hoop gate.
“The squirrel, what was its sprint speed?” Shelton collapsed. “That’s what we had to get in the Statcast era. Definitely one of the worst rundowns I’ve ever seen. And I’ve seen a few bad ones.”
Cubs: RHP Marcus Stroman (right shoulder inflammation) is expected to throw a bullpen in the next few days, his first since he was put on the injured list on June 7.
Pirates: RHP Zach Thompson (right forearm nerve inflammation) was placed on the 15-day IL and said he believed the injury was not serious. The Pirates have yet to decide who will take Thompson’s place in the rotation. … 1B Yoshi Tsutsugo (lumbar strain), SS Kevin Newman (left groin/hamstring strain) and INF/OF Josh VanMeter (fractured right ring finger) are scheduled to begin rehab assignments Tuesday at Indianapolis.
Cubs: Rookie RHP Matt Swarmer (1-2, 5.23 ERA) will make his fifth career start Tuesday night.
Pirates: Rookie RHP Roansy Contreras (1-1, 3.06) has allowed four runs in each of his last two starts.
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https://www.fox43.com/article/sports/pittsburgh-pirates-oneil-cruz-chicago-cubs-mlb/521-242c59f4-8084-4151-8a9a-539be71472b9 Newly promoted Cruz, Madris spark Pirates, rout Cubs 12-1