Travis Wood allowed one hit over six innings and the Chicago Cubs held off the Pittsburgh Pirates 3-2 on Thursday for a series victory in Pittsburgh.
Wood struck out four and walked two as the Cubs won a season-opening series for the first time in 4 years. Wood also scored the game’s first run, racing home on Starlin Castro’s single in the third inning. Nate Schierholtz smacked a two-run homer in the ninth to give the Cubs some breathing room.
Chicago needed it after another shaky outing from Carlos Marmol. The closer picked up his first save of the season, but only after the Pirates drew within one.
Pittsburgh had the tying run on third with no outs, but Pedro Alvarez struck out and Neil Walker hit into a game-ending double play.
The loss spoiled a stellar season debut for Pittsburgh starter James McDonald. The right-hander gave up just two hits in seven innings, striking out four and walking two.
Marmol struggled in Chicago’s 3-1 win on Monday, getting pulled after retiring just one of the three batters he faced. Chicago manager Dale Sveum insisted he was sticking with the volatile Marmol for now.
Royals 3, White Sox 1: Jeremy Guthrie struck out nine and gave up one run in six innings, and the Kansas City Royals snapped a two-game losing streak to start the season in Chicago.
Guthrie (1-0) scattered five hits and walked one for Kansas City, which took its first lead of the season with three runs in the fifth inning and made it stick.
Chicago right-hander Gavin Floyd (0-1) gave up four hits and two runs in six innings. He walked one and struck out five.
Royals catcher Chris Getz singled home Jeff Francoeur in the fifth.
Gordon Beckham was 4-for-4 for Chicago, matching a career high set on May 12, 2012, at Minnesota.
Kansas City reliever Greg Holland worked the ninth for his first save.