Trevor Williams strikes out seven in Cubs’ 4-1 win over the Pirates

Trevor Williams strikes out seven in Cubs’ 4-1 win over the Pirates

AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

Williams allowed one run on three hits over six innings of work. He also had the first multi-hit game of his career.

PITTSBURGH – It’s been a long month-plus for Cubs starter Trevor Williams, who has been searching to find his form as the team’s starting rotation has started to pitch better recently.

And where better to have a bounce back start than PNC Park, where he spent the first five seasons as a member of the Pirates.

Williams was masterful in Wednesday’s 4-1 win over the Pirates, throwing six innings of one-run ball in what was arguably his best performance as a Cub.

The game started with some pressure for Williams as Ben Gamel drove what appeared to be a routine line drive to right field, but was misplayed by Joc Pederson, sailing over his head and rolling to the wall.

The play, which was ruled a triple by the official scorer, didn’t affect the Cubs’ right-hander as he pitched around it, beginning what would be a terrific night on the mound.

Williams pounded the strike zone as he carved up his former club and got soft contact, helping to keep his pitch count deep into the game. While he induced just nine swings-and-misses in the game, he still managed to strike out seven without allowing a walk.

At one point, Williams retired 14 straight hitters before Kevin Newman’s double in the sixth inning ended the streak. He allowed his only run of the outing later in the inning on a soft, opposite-field single.

Not only did he have it going on the mound, but also at the plate, going 2-for-3 in the first multi-hit game of his career.

Williams allowed one run on three hits over six innings in Wednesday’s win. It was his first quality start since April 5 when he allowed two runs over six-plus innings and first win since April 17.

Cubs select OF Rafael Ortega from Triple-A Iowa, DFA RHP Shelby Miller

The Cubs purchased the contract of outfielder Rafael Ortega from Triple-A Iowa before Wednesday’s game against the Pirates. Ortega takes the place of second baseman Nico Hoerner, who was placed on the 10-day injured list with a left hamstring strain.

To make room on the 40-man roster for Ortega, the Cubs activated right-hander Shelby Miller from the injured list and designated him for assignment. Miller was the Cubs’ best pitcher during spring training, but he struggled in his first three appearances before a low back strain landed him on the IL.