PITTSBURGH (AP) — Mike McKenry’s first major league home run, a three-run shot in the eighth inning, lifted Pittsburgh to a 7-4 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Friday night and assured the Pirates of a winning record at the All-Star break for the first time in 19 years.
The rookie catcher’s drive deep into the left-field bleachers came off Cubs closer Carlos Marmol, who blew his sixth save in 24 opportunities one batter earlier when he relieved Sean Marshall (5-3) and allowed Josh Harrison’s game-tying single.
The Pirates are 46-42 with two games left against Chicago before the break. They have had 18 consecutive losing seasons, the longest such stretch of futility in major North American professional sports history.
Daniel McCutchen (3-1) got the final out of the eighth inning for the win and Joel Hanrahan got his 26th save.
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