Rizzo's slide overshadows Chicago's 7-0 win over Pirates

PITTSBURGH (AP) Anthony Rizzo's seventh home run of the season gave the sleep-deprived Chicago Cubs an early lead on Monday afternoon. His two-run single in the ninth put the finishing touches on a 7-0 romp over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

It's what happened in between that could have a carry-over effect for the NL Central rivals.

Rizzo slid hard into Pittsburgh catcher Elias Diaz while being forced out at home in the eighth inning, taking out Diaz's legs, forcing a wild throw into right field. That allowed two runs to score and left both sides wondering what does - and doesn't - constitute a legal slide in modern-day Major League Baseball.

Rizzo claimed he ''wasn't trying to hurt anyone'' when he went leg-first into Diaz, who had already touched home plate for the force out and was a full step in front of the base when the 6-foot-3, 240-pound Rizzo undercut him.

''Plays like that are scary, but at the same time, you have to play hard,'' Rizzo said. ''It's 100 percent in the rules.''

Cubs manager Joe Maddon agreed, calling it a ''perfect play'' while chastising officials for not doing a proper job educating fans on the rules.

''The fans' reaction to (Rizzo) the next time he came up indicates that they think he did something wrong,'' Maddon said. ''And that's what's so wrong about all of that. Different plays where the player has not done anything wrong, but because of new rules, it makes him wear the black hat for the moment.''

The Pirates challenged the call, but it stood on review, a sequence that ended with Pirates manager Clint Hurdle getting ejected when he came out to argue the decision.

''Our catcher, he makes the play just like he's supposed to make and he gets wiped out with a hard baseball slide,'' Hurdle said. ''There's potential injury and I don't see the rule fitting the means there. If it's open season, it's open season. Everybody is going to see the play and knows this is a play you can make on every catcher in his most vulnerable position. He's completely exposed.''

Diaz remained in the game after being tended to by trainers and said Rizzo apologized before his at-bat in the ninth inning.

''When I saw the replay, I was like `Man, this guy could have ended my career right here,''' Diaz said. ''I understand they called it a legal slide, but out of what I've been trained and what I've been told, that was not a legal slide.''

Diaz, starting for the second straight day while Francisco Cervelli dealt with flu-like symptoms, acknowledged he was in some pain but was never close to being removed as a precaution.

''For me to come out of that game, he needed to break my leg,'' Diaz said.

MONTGOMERY SHINES

The play overshadowed a dominant performance by spot starter Mike Montgomery. Filling in for injured Yu Darvish, Montgomery (1-1) retired the first 13 batters and allowed only a pair of singles over 5 2/3 innings, striking out five without a walk.

The Cubs arrived in Pittsburgh at 4 a.m. local time following a victory over San Francisco in Chicago on Sunday night. Maddon wondered openly before the first pitch why the start time wasn't pushed until later in the day, but the well-rested Montgomery, who has worked exclusively in the bullpen this season, was more than ready to go.

''Obviously, last night with the travel, the bullpen needed as much help as they could get,'' Montgomery said. ''I know that. I was kind of doing it for those guys. Give those guys some rest.''

Pittsburgh managed to get the ball out of the infield five times with Montgomery on the mound, four harmless fly outs and a single by Corey Dickerson with one out in the fifth. Then David Freese hit into a double play.

Chad Kuhl (4-3) gave up only Rizzo's solo shot to right field in the first, but fell to 1-5 against the Cubs. Addison Russell's pinch-hit two-run home run off reliever Steven Brault in the seventh gave Chicago a 3-0 lead as the Cubs poured it on late. The Pirates fell to 2-8 in their last 10 games.

''Offensively we've missed some opportunities,'' Hurdle said. ''Not a lot of opportunities today. But we've had a lot of opportunities in the other games. So we continue to create opportunities. We're just not finishing off things.''

COMING AND GOING

The Cubs recalled RHP Luke Farrell from Triple-A Iowa and optioned Justin Hancock to the minors. Pittsburgh released reliever George Kontos after going 2-3 with a 5.03 ERA in 21 appearances.

TEMPERS FLARE

Freese and Pirates third base coach Joey Cora had to be separated in the dugout late in the game. Hurdle said he wasn't aware of the confrontation, but that the team would take care of it ''in house.''

TRAINER'S ROOM

Cubs: Utility player Ian Happ pinch hit in the seventh inning, his first appearance since exiting Saturday's loss to San Francisco with right shoulder soreness after making a diving stop.

Pirates: They shut down closer Felipe Vazquez for the day as a precaution. Vazquez complained of discomfort in his left forearm after blowing a third consecutive save opportunity in a loss to St. Louis on Sunday. Director of sports medicine Todd Tomczyk said tests done after the game did not find any structural damage.

UP NEXT

Cubs: Jon Lester (4-2, 2.37 ERA) will make his 14th career start against the Pirates. Lester is 5-5 with a 3.50 ERA when facing Pittsburgh.

Pirates: Rookie Nick Kingham (2-1, 3.44 ERA) will make his fourth career start on Tuesday. Kingham is filling in for Ivan Nova, who was placed on the 10-day disabled list Monday with a sprained ring finger on his right (throwing) hand.

---

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Copyright 2018 by AP. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of AP is strictly prohibited.

123456789RHE
CHC28-22
0100002227120
PIT28-25
000000000022
  • W: M. Montgomery (1-1)L: C. Kuhl (4-3)
  • HR: CHC - A. Rizzo (7), A. Russell (2)
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
B. Zobrist RF-LF40000101.276.369.382.7510.0
T. La Stella 2B10000200.339.423.371.7942.0
a- A. Russell PH-SS22221000.268.348.382.7309.0
K. Bryant 3B51100012.290.406.540.9451.5
A. Rizzo 1B41331101.228.335.389.72411.0
J. Baez SS-2B51200022.269.300.570.8702.0
K. Schwarber LF31000110.252.382.497.8781.5
P. Strop P10000002.000.000.000.0000.0
L. Farrell P00000000.000.000.000.0000.0
C. Gimenez C50200013.400.400.400.8001.5
M. Montgomery P10100000.333.333.333.6671.0
S. Cishek P0000-000.500.500.500.000-
b- I. Happ PH10000010.244.363.504.867-0.5
J. Wilson P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
c- J. Heyward PH-RF10000001.222.306.350.6560.0
A. Almora CF41100014.324.374.451.8251.5
  • a-homered for La Stella in the 7th
  • b-struck out for Cishek in the 7th
  • c-grounded out for Wilson in the 8th
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
J. Harrison 2B40000021.281.327.382.709-1.0
A. Meadows RF30000000.417.405.7781.1830.0
S. Marte CF30000010.300.355.500.855-0.5
J. Bell 1B30000000.250.323.385.7080.0
C. Dickerson LF30100000.311.348.489.8381.0
D. Freese 3B30000011.247.310.442.752-0.5
S. Rodriguez SS30100000.184.304.356.6601.0
E. Diaz C30000011.302.362.429.791-0.5
C. Kuhl P10000010.188.188.188.375-0.5
a- C. Moran PH10000011.264.352.410.761-0.5
S. Brault P0000-000.273.273.364.000-
K. Crick P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
R. Rodriguez P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
b- A. Frazier PH10000000.228.301.333.6350.0
  • a-struck out for Kuhl in the 6th
  • b-grounded out for Rodriguez in the 9th
BATTING
  • HR - A. Russell (2), A. Rizzo (7)
  • SH - M. Montgomery
  • RBI - A. Russell 2 (14), A. Rizzo 3 (36)
  • 2-Out RBI - A. Russell 2 (9)
BASERUNNING
  • CS - B. Zobrist
FIELDING
  • DP - (Baez-La Stella-Rizzo)
FIELDING
  • E - K. Crick (2), E. Diaz (3)
PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
M. Montgomery (W, 1-1)5.22000504.351.2622.5
S. Cishek (H, 4)0.10000101.931.200.5
J. Wilson (H, 3)1.00000003.001.433.0
P. Strop1.00000001.591.013.0
L. Farrell1.00000106.751.653.5
PITCHERSIP
M. Montgomery (W, 1-1)5.2
S. Cishek (H, 4)0.1
J. Wilson (H, 3)1.0
P. Strop1.0
L. Farrell1.0
PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
C. Kuhl (L, 4-3)6.04114513.941.359.5
S. Brault0.22220114.431.30-3.5
K. Crick1.12211002.161.44-1.0
R. Rodriguez1.04220102.211.23-2.5
PITCHERSIP
C. Kuhl (L, 4-3)6.0
S. Brault0.2
K. Crick1.1
R. Rodriguez1.0
PITCHING
  • Pitches-Strikes - M. Montgomery 76-54, S. Cishek 3-3, J. Wilson 10-9, P. Strop 13-9, L. Farrell 12-8
  • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - M. Montgomery 5-6, J. Wilson 1-2, L. Farrell 2-0
  • Batters Faced - M. Montgomery 18, S. Cishek, J. Wilson 3, P. Strop 3, L. Farrell 3
PITCHING
  • WP - R. Rodriguez (3)
  • IBB - K. Crick (2)
  • Pitches-Strikes - C. Kuhl 93-53, S. Brault 21-14, K. Crick 13-10, R. Rodriguez 29-19
  • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - C. Kuhl 5-7, K. Crick 3-1
  • Batters Faced - C. Kuhl 25, S. Brault 4, K. Crick 7, R. Rodriguez 7
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
123456789RHE
CHC28-22
0100002227120
PIT28-25
000000000022
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
B. Zobrist RF-LF40000101.276.369.382.7510.0
T. La Stella 2B10000200.339.423.371.7942.0
a- A. Russell PH-SS22221000.268.348.382.7309.0
K. Bryant 3B51100012.290.406.540.9451.5
A. Rizzo 1B41331101.228.335.389.72411.0
J. Baez SS-2B51200022.269.300.570.8702.0
K. Schwarber LF31000110.252.382.497.8781.5
P. Strop P10000002.000.000.000.0000.0
L. Farrell P00000000.000.000.000.0000.0
C. Gimenez C50200013.400.400.400.8001.5
M. Montgomery P10100000.333.333.333.6671.0
S. Cishek P0000-000.500.500.500.000-
b- I. Happ PH10000010.244.363.504.867-0.5
J. Wilson P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
c- J. Heyward PH-RF10000001.222.306.350.6560.0
A. Almora CF41100014.324.374.451.8251.5
Total37712525716-----
  • a-homered for La Stella in the 7th
  • b-struck out for Cishek in the 7th
  • c-grounded out for Wilson in the 8th
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
J. Harrison 2B40000021.281.327.382.709-1.0
A. Meadows RF30000000.417.405.7781.1830.0
S. Marte CF30000010.300.355.500.855-0.5
J. Bell 1B30000000.250.323.385.7080.0
C. Dickerson LF30100000.311.348.489.8381.0
D. Freese 3B30000011.247.310.442.752-0.5
S. Rodriguez SS30100000.184.304.356.6601.0
E. Diaz C30000011.302.362.429.791-0.5
C. Kuhl P10000010.188.188.188.375-0.5
a- C. Moran PH10000011.264.352.410.761-0.5
S. Brault P0000-000.273.273.364.000-
K. Crick P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
R. Rodriguez P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
b- A. Frazier PH10000000.228.301.333.6350.0
Total280200074-----
  • a-struck out for Kuhl in the 6th
  • b-grounded out for Rodriguez in the 9th
BATTING
  • HR - A. Russell (2), A. Rizzo (7)
  • SH - M. Montgomery
  • RBI - A. Russell 2 (14), A. Rizzo 3 (36)
  • 2-Out RBI - A. Russell 2 (9)
BASERUNNING
  • CS - B. Zobrist
FIELDING
  • DP - (Baez-La Stella-Rizzo)
FIELDING
  • E - K. Crick (2), E. Diaz (3)
PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
M. Montgomery (W, 1-1)5.22000504.351.2622.5
S. Cishek (H, 4)0.10000101.931.200.5
J. Wilson (H, 3)1.00000003.001.433.0
P. Strop1.00000001.591.013.0
L. Farrell1.00000106.751.653.5
Total9.0200070---
PITCHERSIP
M. Montgomery (W, 1-1)5.2
S. Cishek (H, 4)0.1
J. Wilson (H, 3)1.0
P. Strop1.0
L. Farrell1.0
Total9.0
PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
C. Kuhl (L, 4-3)6.04114513.941.359.5
S. Brault0.22220114.431.30-3.5
K. Crick1.12211002.161.44-1.0
R. Rodriguez1.04220102.211.23-2.5
Total9.01276572---
PITCHERSIP
C. Kuhl (L, 4-3)6.0
S. Brault0.2
K. Crick1.1
R. Rodriguez1.0
Total9.0
PITCHING
  • Pitches-Strikes - M. Montgomery 76-54, S. Cishek 3-3, J. Wilson 10-9, P. Strop 13-9, L. Farrell 12-8
  • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - M. Montgomery 5-6, J. Wilson 1-2, L. Farrell 2-0
  • Batters Faced - M. Montgomery 18, S. Cishek, J. Wilson 3, P. Strop 3, L. Farrell 3
PITCHING
  • WP - R. Rodriguez (3)
  • IBB - K. Crick (2)
  • Pitches-Strikes - C. Kuhl 93-53, S. Brault 21-14, K. Crick 13-10, R. Rodriguez 29-19
  • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - C. Kuhl 5-7, K. Crick 3-1
  • Batters Faced - C. Kuhl 25, S. Brault 4, K. Crick 7, R. Rodriguez 7
  • 9TH INNING
    Rizzo singled to center, Russell and Bryant scored70
  • 8TH INNING
    Gimenez reached on fielder's choice to shortstop, , Baez and Schwarber scored, Rizzo out at home, Gimenez to second on catcher Diaz fielding error50
  • 7TH INNING
    Russell homered to left, Almora scored30
  • 2ND INNING
    Rizzo homered to right center10
  • 9TH INNING
    • Richard Rodriguez relieved Kyle Crick
    • B. Zobrist: Strike looking, Foul, Zobrist flied out to deep right
    • A. Russell: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Foul, Russell singled to right
    • K. Bryant: Ball, Ball, Bryant singled to left, Russell to second
    • A. Rizzo: Ball, Ball, Russell to third, Bryant to second on wild pitch, Foul, Foul, Rizzo singled to center, Russell and Bryant scored
    • J. Baez: Ball, Strike looking, Baez singled to center, Rizzo to second
    • P. Strop: Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Strop flied out to center
    • C. Gimenez: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Strike looking, Gimenez struck out looking
    • Middle of the 9th (2 Runs, 4 Hits, 0 Errors)
    • Luke Farrell relieved Pedro Strop
    • E. Diaz: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Diaz grounded out to third
    • Adam Frazier hit for Richard Rodriguez
    • A. Frazier: Ball, Foul, Frazier grounded out to second
    • J. Harrison: Foul, Ball, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Harrison struck out swinging
    • End of the 9th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
  • 8TH INNING
    • K. Crick Pitching:
    • A. Rizzo: Strike looking, Rizzo singled to center
    • J. Baez: Ball, Baez reached on an infield single to shortstop, Rizzo to third, Baez to second on Crick fielding error
    • K. Schwarber: Schwarber intentionally walked
    • C. Gimenez: Ball, Gimenez reached on fielder's choice to shortstop, , Baez and Schwarber scored, Rizzo out at home, Gimenez to second on catcher Diaz fielding error
    • Jason Heyward hit for Justin Wilson
    • J. Heyward: Foul, Strike swinging, Heyward grounded out to first, Gimenez to third
    • A. Almora: Ball, Almora grounded out to third
    • Middle of the 8th (2 Runs, 2 Hits, 2 Errors)
    • Pedro Strop pitching
    • C. Dickerson: Strike swinging, Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Dickerson lined out to center
    • D. Freese: Strike swinging, Freese fouled out to right
    • S. Rodriguez: Foul, Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Ball, Rodriguez flied out to center
    • End of the 8th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
  • 7TH INNING
    • Steven Brault pitching
    • Ian Happ hit for Steve Cishek
    • I. Happ: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Foul, Foul, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Happ struck out swinging
    • A. Almora: Ball, Ball, Almora singled to center
    • B. Zobrist: Strike looking, Strike looking, Foul, Pickoff attempt, Foul, Zobrist flied out to deep left
    • Addison Russell hit for Tommy La Stella
    • A. Russell: Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Russell homered to left, Almora scored
    • Kyle Crick relieved Steven Brault
    • K. Bryant: Foul, Bryant flied out to left
    • Middle of the 7th (2 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
    • Justin Wilson pitching
    • A. Meadows: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Meadows popped out to shortstop
    • S. Marte: Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Marte popped out to second
    • J. Bell: Strike looking, Bell grounded out to shortstop
    • End of the 7th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
  • 6TH INNING
    • C. Kuhl Pitching:
    • J. Baez: Strike (foul tip), Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Foul, Foul tip, Baez struck out on foul tip
    • K. Schwarber: Foul, Ball, Ball, Ball, Foul, Schwarber popped out to third
    • C. Gimenez: Ball, Gimenez grounded out to third
    • Middle of the 6th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
    • M. Montgomery Pitching:
    • S. Rodriguez: Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Rodriguez reached on an infield single to pitcher
    • E. Diaz: Strike swinging, Pickoff attempt, Strike swinging, Ball, Strike looking, Diaz struck out looking
    • Colin Moran hit for Chad Kuhl
    • C. Moran: Ball, Foul, Ball, Foul, Foul, Strike swinging, Moran struck out swinging
    • Steve Cishek relieved Mike Montgomery
    • J. Harrison: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Harrison struck out swinging
    • End of the 6th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
  • 5TH INNING
    • C. Kuhl Pitching:
    • B. Zobrist: Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Ball, Zobrist lined out to left
    • T. La Stella: Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, La Stella walked
    • K. Bryant: Ball, Ball, Foul, Foul, Bryant lined out to right
    • A. Rizzo: Strike swinging, Rizzo grounded out to second
    • Middle of the 5th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
    • M. Montgomery Pitching:
    • J. Bell: Ball, Foul, Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Ball, Bell grounded out to third
    • C. Dickerson: Strike swinging, Foul, Ball, Foul, Dickerson singled to center
    • D. Freese: Pickoff attempt, Pickoff attempt, Pickoff attempt, Strike looking, Ball, Freese grounded into double play shortstop to second to first, Dickerson out at second
    • End of the 5th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
  • 4TH INNING
    • C. Kuhl Pitching:
    • K. Schwarber: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Foul tip, Schwarber struck out on foul tip
    • C. Gimenez: Foul, Gimenez singled to center
    • M. Montgomery: Montgomery hit sacrifice bunt to catcher, Gimenez to second
    • A. Almora: Foul, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Almora struck out swinging
    • Middle of the 4th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
    • M. Montgomery Pitching:
    • J. Harrison: Ball, Harrison lined out to center
    • A. Meadows: Foul, Strike looking, Ball, Meadows flied out to right
    • S. Marte: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Marte grounded out to first
    • End of the 4th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
  • 3RD INNING
    • C. Kuhl Pitching:
    • B. Zobrist: Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, Zobrist walked
    • T. La Stella: Foul, Ball, Ball, Pickoff attempt, Ball, Zobrist caught stealing, catcher to shortstop, Ball, La Stella walked
    • K. Bryant: Ball, Ball, Bryant flied out to left
    • A. Rizzo: Strike swinging, Foul, Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Ball, Rizzo walked, La Stella to second
    • J. Baez: Foul, Baez fouled out to first
    • Middle of the 3rd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
    • M. Montgomery Pitching:
    • S. Rodriguez: Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Rodriguez popped out to first
    • E. Diaz: Strike looking, Diaz flied out to left
    • C. Kuhl: Strike looking, Foul, Strike swinging, Kuhl struck out swinging
    • End of the 3rd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
  • 2ND INNING
    • C. Kuhl Pitching:
    • A. Rizzo: Rizzo homered to right center
    • J. Baez: Ball, Ball, Foul, Foul, Foul, Strike swinging, Baez struck out swinging
    • K. Schwarber: Strike looking, Ball, Schwarber flied out to deep left
    • C. Gimenez: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Gimenez singled to left
    • M. Montgomery: Montgomery singled to center, Gimenez to second
    • A. Almora: Almora grounded out to third
    • Middle of the 2nd (1 Run, 3 Hits, 0 Errors)
    • M. Montgomery Pitching:
    • J. Bell: Ball, Foul, Ball, Foul, Foul, Bell fouled out to first
    • C. Dickerson: Ball, Foul, Foul, Foul, Dickerson grounded out to first
    • D. Freese: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Freese struck out swinging
    • End of the 2nd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
  • 1ST INNING
    • C. Kuhl Pitching:
    • B. Zobrist: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Zobrist flied out to center
    • T. La Stella: Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, La Stella grounded out to first
    • K. Bryant: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Bryant struck out swinging
    • Middle of the 1st (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
    • M. Montgomery Pitching:
    • J. Harrison: Foul, Harrison flied out to right
    • A. Meadows: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Meadows grounded out to first
    • S. Marte: Foul, Strike swinging, Ball, Strike swinging, Marte struck out swinging
    • End of the 1st (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)