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Instant replay no help in Cubs’ loss to Pirates

Pittsburgh Pirates' Josh Harris(5) celebrates with teammate Gregory Polanco (25) home plate after hitting two-run home run during seventh inning

Pittsburgh Pirates' Josh Harrison (5) celebrates with teammate Gregory Polanco (25) at home plate after hitting a two-run home run during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Chicago Cubs in Chicago, Saturday, June 21, 2014. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)

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Updated: June 22, 2014 12:12AM

Though poor execution on certain pitches was as much to blame for the Cubs’ 5-3 loss to the Pirates on Saturday night at Wrigley Field, had video challenges not been in effect, the game might have gone their way.

With two out in the seventh inning, Pirates right fielder Gregory Polanco was ruled out at first, but replay revealed that he beat the throw by Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro. The next batter, Josh Harrison, hit a two-run homer that gave the Pirates a 5-2 lead.

In the bottom of the inning, the Cubs scored one run — which would have been the tying run if it weren’t for the overturned ruling — on catcher Eli Whiteside’s RBI double.

Cubs starter Travis Wood had an inefficient night. He needed 99 pitches to get through 4 2/3 innings in which he gave up four hits and three runs and struck out four.

Wood retired the first six Pirates and appeared to be on his way to a solid outing until the fifth, when he allowed two runs, both coming with two outs. He was pulled after giving up an RBI single to Andrew McCutchen.

Reliever Brian Schlitter ended the inning by getting the next batter, catcher Russell Martin, to ground out to third.

Wood gave up the game’s first run when Pirates shortstop Jordy Mercer hit a solo homer to lead off the third.

Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo responded in the fourth with a two-run homer that scored Chris Coghlan. The homer was Rizzo’s 15th of the season.


Twitter: @SethGruen

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