The Cubs swept the Pirates, extending their winning streak to six as the rotation shined.

The Cubs did not sweep a single series before the All-Star break this season. Now, they’ve won two straight, extending their winning streak to six games with Tuesday’s 4-2 win over the Pirates.

“We have a winner here,” the manager David Ross said. “We’ve got guys who know how to win, we’ve got guys who are learning how to be successful and win, and we’re trying to move in that direction as quickly as possible. And I think I’ve got Looks like we’re getting there.

The win helped the Cubs reverse an unfortunate trend. Entering Tuesday, the club’s .385 winning percentage in decisions by two runs or fewer was second in Major League Baseball, better than the Angels’ record in such games.

The Cubs’ last three wins, against the Phillies and Pirates, were all decided by two runs or fewer. And on Tuesday, the Cubs broke their record by scoring for the first time – something they’ve done in 61 games – over .500 (31-30).

“If you get good starting pitching, you’re going to be in every ballgame,” Ross said this week.

Every Cubs starter has thrown at least five innings and held an opponent to two or fewer runs in the last six games.

on Tuesday, Keegan Thompson He threw a career-high seven innings without giving up an earned run to the Pirates. He struck out seven and did not issue a walk.

“That was as good as we’ve seen Keegan,” Ross said.

The winning streak won’t change the Cubs’ trade deadline. With a record of 40-57, they are still far from playoff contention. But they passed the Pirates in the NL Central standings to sit at least 3rd.

A left field monument

If marked on Tuesday Ian HappIn the last home game with the Cubs, fans in the left field bleachers signed a ball to give to the left fielder as a gift.

“They’re there every day,” Heap said. “No matter, no matter the weather, until April, they’re there every single day. And they care so much. And it was really meaningful.”

The signed ball marked one of several moments between Heap, Wilson Contreras And fans at the Cubs’ final home series before the Aug. 2 trade deadline. After the game, Happ and Contreras had their moment together when they embraced in the dugout.

“It’s hard to put into words,” Happ said. “When you play with someone that long, you share a lot of experiences. It’s years and years of 200-plus days together. You spend more time with these guys than you do with your own family. Do during the season.

“So, all those memories and experiences, and 2017 and a playoff run, and his first All-Star Game — and his second and his third — and all the big hits and big moments, and then all those kind of together and inundates you at the same time. So, there’s a ton of emotion that goes into it.”

Robertson is unavailable.

Cubs fans were on high alert a week before the trade deadline — and rightfully so. Then, close David Robertson Was not available to pitch in a save situation on Tuesday. But Ross cited Robertson’s recent workload when explaining why reliever Mitchell Givens, not Robertson, took the ball in the ninth inning Tuesday.

Robertson threw in back-to-back games in Philadelphia. He has not appeared in the last two Cubs games.

“If it was a night game, he probably would have been available,” Ross said.

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