PITTSBURGH — All it took was one solid hit for the Cubs to wrestle away Opening Day momentum from the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The Pirates lost 3-1 to the Chicago Cubs, with Pirates ace A.J. Burnett being on the hook for all three runs, two of them coming on a two-run home run to the left-center field seats by Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo in the top of the first inning.
The Cubs third run came from the bat of Wellington Castillo in the top of the sixth. The Pirates lone run came in the 9th inning as Pedro Alvarez drove in Andrew McCutchen, who reached base after being hit by a pitch.
It was supposed to be the dream start for Burnett, as he was the scheduled starter for Opening Day 2012, but a freak bunting accident had him miss a month of action before his first start. In today’s opener, A.J.’s first opening day start, he gave up 3 runs on six hits, but struck out ten over six innings of work.
The Bucs bullpen was perfect as they gave up no runs. Jeff Samardzija got the win with six innings of work, and Kyuji Fujikawa making his Major League debut, notching the save.
Both teams will meet again for their first night game of the season on Wednesday.