PITTSBURGH ( Associated Press) — Newly promoted O’Neill Cruz scored four runs and the Bligh Madris got three hits in his major league debut, helping the Pittsburgh Pirates thrash the Chicago Cubs 12-1 on Monday night.
Both rookies were called up from Triple-A Indianapolis earlier in the day and delivered immediately.
Cruz, considered Pittsburgh’s top prospect, hit a three-run double to deep center field, capturing a four-run third inning to extend the Pirates’ lead to 7-0. He was playing the third major league match of his career.
6-foot-7 Cruz also hit an RBI single in a five-run seventh as the Pirates set a season high for runs. He started the final two games of last season when he became the longest shortstop in major league history.
Madris, in his first batting, hit a two-run single in the second innings. The outfielder opened the innings of three runs which included the first of two sacrifice flies from Hoy Park.
Madris became the first Pirates player since Jason Kendall in 1996 to play three hit games on his debut.
JT Brubaker (1–7) last scored six scoreless innings for his first win since 24 August, a period of 14 starts.
Brubaker scored three out of five, scattering five hits. He has a 2.65 ERA in his last six starts.
The Pirates took advantage of five walks by rookie Caleb Killian (0-2), who was tagged for seven runs in 2 1/3 innings. Killian was making the third start of his career.
Daniel Vogelbach hit a two-run double in the Pirates’ big seventh inning and Tyler Heinemann’s RBI double made it 12-1.
The Cubs made their run in the seventh off Ian Happ’s single. Happ, Rafael Ortega and Nico Horner gave two hits each.
Both the teams came on Monday after losing 11 of their last 13 matches.
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Cruise was hitting .232 in 55 games at Indianapolis with nine home runs and 11 stolen bases. Madris has become the 12th Pirates player to make his league debut this year.
Cruz is the third shortstop in big league history to have seven RBIs in his first three career games with Hall of Famers Paul Molitor and Trevor Storey.
Madris became the first Pirates player to hit, RBI and steal grounds in his first major league game since Andrew McCutchen in 2009.
The Cubs recalled outfielder Nelson Velázquez from Triple-A Iowa and selected right-hander Adrian Sampson at the same club.
Velazquez, Arizona Fall League MVP last year, is one of 15 rookies to see action for the Cubs this season. He made his debut on 30 May.
The game was delayed for a few minutes at the end of the second innings when a squirrel ran across the field.
The squirrel appeared to enter with the stand from third base. Then he shattered into the corner of the left field.
Three members of the field’s crew were able to persuade Crater to exit the field through the bullpen gate.
Cubs: RHP Marcus Strowman (right shoulder swelling) is expected to throw the bullpen over the next few days, his first since being on the injured list on June 7.
Pirates: RHP Zach Thompson (right forearm nerve inflammation) was placed on a 15-day IL and said he believed the injury was not serious. The Pirates have not decided who will replace Thompson in the rotation. … 1B Yoshi Tsutsugo (lumbar strain), SS Kevin Newman (left groin/left hamstring strain) and INF/OF Josh Vanmeter (fractured right ring finger) are scheduled to begin rehab work with Indianapolis on Tuesday.
Cubs: Rookie RHP Matt Swarmer (1-2, 5.23 ERA) will make his fifth career debut on Tuesday night.
Pirates: Rookie RHP Ronci Contreras (1-1, 3.06) allowed four runs in each of his last two.
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