Ball

Baseball in the grass. (Photo by Metro Creative Graphics)

CHICAGO (AP) — Ke'Bryan Hayes hit a two-run homer and Pittsburgh's relievers dominated in a two-hitter, helping the Pirates beat the Chicago Cubs 5-3 Thursday on a chilly opening day.

The gametime temperature at Wrigley Field was 36 degrees, and the flags at the iconic ballpark rippled in the breeze for much of the sunny afternoon. A crowd of 10,343 dressed in winter jackets, hooded sweatshirts and hats for the return of fans to Wrigley after they were kept out last summer because of the pandemic.

Pittsburgh handled the cool conditions just a little bit better than Chicago, led by its largely anonymous bullpen. Six relievers combined for six innings of one-run ball — Duane Underwood Jr., Clay Holmes, Sam Howard (1-0), David Bednar and Chris Stratton each worked an inning before Richard Rodríguez finished for the save.

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