Cubs beat Pirates in 12 innings, Arrieta fails in bid for 20th win

Thu Sep 17, 2015 2:12am EDT
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(The Sports Xchange) - First baseman Anthony Rizzo's sacrifice fly in the top of the 12th inning lifted the Cubs to a 3-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday and edged them closer to the first National League wild-card spot.

The Cubs (84-61) drew within three games of the Pirates (87-58) for the first wild-card spot and now hold a commanding eight-game lead for the second wild-card berth over the San Francisco Giants.

"You don't want to think about the playoffs too much yet but if we keep winning games like this then I really like our chances of getting there," Cubs second baseman Starlin Castro said.

The Pirates dropped four games behind the first-place St. Louis Cardinals (91-54), who won 5-4 at Milwaukee, in the NL Central while the Cubs stayed seven games behind.

Given a 2-0 lead going into the seventh inning, Cubs right-hander Jake Arrieta was unable to hold it in his attempt to become the first pitcher to 20 wins this season when he allowed a run to score on a throwing error in the seventh.

"We won the game and that's obviously the most important aspect but that throw was unacceptable on my part," Arrieta said.

"That's going to stay with me for a while because that's how I am personally. I made a good pitch on Marte and then I could have cost us the ballgame with that throw to first base."

Arrieta wound up allowing two runs and six hits in eight innings while striking out five and walking one.

He was attempting to become the first Cubs pitcher to win 20 games since 2001, when Jon Lieber went 20-6.   Continued...

Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant (L) and first baseman Anthony Rizzo (44) celebrate after defeating the Pittsburgh Pirates in twelve innings at PNC Park.  Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports