Jason Heyward gave the Cubs runny lineup a choppy Wednesday night just before taking a National League playoff spot.

But even Heyward's exploits were not enough, as the Cubs' bullpen allowed four runs in the eighth and ninth inning that allowed the pirates to forge a 6-6 tie.

The Cubs came away with a 7: 6 win in 10 innings when Albert Almora Jr. hit a single with two out-to-pinch runner Terrance Gore.

The Pirates tied the game at the top of ninth when Starling Marte hit a double pass that grazed the first baseman Anthony Rizzo's mitt to tie left-hander Justin Wilson's game.

It was a tough inning for Rizzo, whose offer to grab a foul-pop by Francisco Cervelli was rejected by a fan sitting in the front row near the Pirates Dugout. Cervelli took advantage of the break by throwing Kevin Newman into third place with a double strike and both runners met on Marte & # 39; s hit.

Heyward beat Ivan Nova home with two runs in the first round and he added an RBI single with two outs in the fourth when the Cubs had a 6-1 lead.

The Cubs earned their fourth playoff spot in a row due to the cardinals' losses to the Brewers.

But the Cubs, who tried to hold the Brewers for the NL Central title, could not keep a 6-2 lead after seven innings. Reliever Carl Edwards Jr. made two strokes in the eighth round and Elias Diaz hit a two-run single to reduce the Cubs' lead to two.

The victory of the Cubs has kept its lead in the NL Central. her magic number to defeat the division is four.

Heyward, who cleaned for the fifth time this season, is 8 against 22 against Nova.

The Cubs extended their lead to 4: 1 in the third on a victim fly by Anthony Rizzo and a base-charged walk by Kyle Schwarber.

The Cubs scored two runs on four consecutive singles after two out of the fourth, followed by Heywards hit.

The Cubs played without Kris Bryant and Ben Zobrist. Bryant sustains a left wrist injury when he was hit by Chris Archer on Tuesday. Zobrist is 6-for-38 lifetime (.158) against Ivan Nova.

"Bryant's wrist is sore, but not as swollen as he thought," said manager Joe Maddon before the game. "So he'll be with the coach (during the game) and tell me what he can do, even if it's stuck, it can be helpful, I'll know more later, if I pass him by."

Prior to Heywards Homer, the Cubs scored five runs in their last 56 innings, covering six games against the pirates.

Jose Quintana allowed Jose Osuna in the first and Homer to Corey Dickerson on the first pitch of the fifth.


Twitter @ MDGonzales

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