Pittsburgh, PA – Marlon Byrd's home run in the seventh inning helped the Pittsburgh Pirates take a 2-1 win over the Chicago Cubs in the third of a four-game set.
In the hotly contested battle for the NL Central, the Pirates moved back into a tie for first place in with the Cardinals, who lost to the Mariners.
Jose Tabata homered in the sixth inning to account for the other run for the Pirates, who have won five of their last six games. Gerrit Cole (8-7) tossed seven innings, giving up a run on five hits with three walks and seven strikeouts to win his second-straight start.
"He's showing the mettle, skill level and talent that we saw when we drafted him," said Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle about Cole. "He's developing into a top-notch pitcher."
Nate Schierholtz drove in the lone run of the game for the Cubs, who have dropped three of their last four.
Scott Baker pitched six innings in the start, giving up a run on three hits. James Russell (1-6) got the loss for giving up Byrd's homer.
"I get to do something that I enjoying doing," said Baker. "It's definitely fun to go out there and compete at this level."
Tabata's homer off Baker tied the game, while Byrd's 23rd of the year in the seventh gave the Pirates their first lead of the game.
Tony Watson pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning, while Mark Melancon induced a 6-4-3 double play from Welington Castillo in the ninth to end the game and pick up his 15th save of the season.
The only other run in the game came in the first inning courtesy of the Cubs. Starlin Castro led off with a single and Anthony Rizzo walked two batters later. Schierholtz then hit a one-hop double off the wall in right-center that easily scored Castro. Rizzo, though, was thrown out at home on the relay.
Cole has given up just three runs over 20 innings in his past three starts ... The Pirates have taken nine of the 15 games against the Cubs this season ... Travis Wood pitches for Chicago on Sunday, while Francisco Liriano will look for his 17th win of the season for Pittsburgh.