Gerrit Cole pitches Pirates past Cubs 2-1

Gerrit Cole pitched seven strong innings and got home run help from Marlon Byrd and Jose Tabata, leading the Pittsburgh Pirates past the Chicago Cubs 2-1 Saturday night.

The Pirates have won five of six.

They began the day one game behind St. Louis for the NL Central lead.

Cole (8-7) gave up one run and five hits.

The rookie struck out seven and walked three.

Byrd hit a solo home run off James Russell (1-6) in the seventh to put Pittsburgh ahead 2-1.

It was Byrd's 23rd home run of the season and second in 17 games since being acquired Aug. 27 from the New York Mets in a trade.

He is hitting .323 for the Pirates.