MLB: Pittsburgh 2, Chicago Cubs 1

Sept. 23, 2013 at 11:20 PM   |   Comments

CHICAGO, Sept. 23 (UPI) -- Starling Marte pounded a go-ahead homer in the ninth inning Monday and Pittsburgh clinched a post-season berth with a 2-1 win over the Chicago Cubs.

The Pirates had led 1-0 since the first inning but the Cubs pushed across a tying run in the eighth on a Donnie Murphy RBI single.

Marte, however, quickly responded with two outs in the ninth, belting a pitch from Kevin Gregg (2-6) over the left-field wall for a clutch solo homer.

The Bucs had to hang on the bottom of the ninth to secure the victory.

With two outs and Nate Schierholtz at first, Chicago's Ryan Sweeney sent a single into right-center field off closer Jason Grilli that was bobbled by outfielder Marlon Byrd for an error.

The Cubs decided to send Schierholtz home, but the relay throw from first baseman Justin Morneau nailed him at the plate for the game's final out as Grilli recorded his 32nd save.

Mark Melancon (3-2) credited with the victory as Pittsburgh clinched at least a National League wild-card spot and remained two games behind NL Central-leading St. Louis.

Bucs starter Charlie Morton tossed seven shutout innings and Neil Walker bashed a first-inning homer in the win.

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