Pittsburgh, PA-(ENEWSPF)- After getting swept at home this past weekend in a big four-game series to the NL Central-leading St. Louis Cardinals, the Cubs (82-75) traveled to Pittsburgh to take on the Pirates (66-91) with playoff hopes slim-to-none.
The Cubs wasted Kyle Hendricks’ no-hit bid in the series opener on Tuesday and lost 9-2. It was the Northsiders seventh consecutive loss.
Jon Lester (13-10 4.51) got the nod for the Cubs in Game 2 of this three-game series. Opposing him was rookie right-hander Dario Agrazal (4-5 5.08).
The Cubs got an early 1-0 lead in the top of the 2nd when Ian Happ hit a sharp single to right past a diving Adam Frazier, scoring Willson Contreras.
Lester got himself into some two-out trouble in the 4th. After an RBI-double by Erik Gonzalez, a Jake Elmore RBI-single gave the Pirates a 2-1 lead.
Lester exited the game after six innings surrendering two runs on eight hits while striking out four and walking none.
Ian Happ got the Cubs on the board again with a lead-off solo-homerun – his 8th of the year- to tie the game at 2-2.
The wheels fell off again late for the Cubs in the 8th. With David Phelps on the mound now for the Northsiders and two outs and one on, a pair of David Phelps’ wild pitches allowed the go-ahead run to score and put the Buccos ahead 3-2. Erik Gonzalez would follow with an RBI sacrifice fly to make the Pittsburgh lead 4-2. The two runs were charged go reliever, Brad Weick.
The Cubs couldn’t get anything going in the 9th after an Ian Happ lead-off walk. Keone Kela would get Jason Heyward to ground into a double play followed by a Nico Hoerner groundout to end it and give Pittsburgh the 4-2 victory.
The loss was the eighth consecutive for the Cubs and officially eliminated them from playoff contention.
Brad Weick suffered the loss and for Keone Kelps, it was his first save of the year.
The Cubs and Pirates squared off for the final matchup of the season at 6:05 PM with Jose Quintana (13-8 4.55) against Joe Musgrove (10-12 4.49). The Pirates completed the sweep of the Cubs in this series, sending the Northsiders back to Chicago with a 9-5 loss.