The Chicago Cubs’ lead in the National League Central is razor-thin following a 6-0 loss to the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday.
With less than a week left in the season, the Cubs (91-66) hold a half-game lead over the second-place Milwaukee Brewers, who beat St. Louis.
Pablo Reyes hit a three-run home run, and right-hander Chris Archer (6-8) struck out nine in six scoreless innings while giving up four hits and two walks for Pittsburgh (80-76), which has won the first two games of the four-game series.
Dovydas Neverauskas pitched two scoreless innings, and Steven Brault the ninth to preserve the five-hit shutout for the Pirates, who have been eliminated from playoff contention.
Mike Montgomery (5-6), the first of eight pitchers for the Cubs, gave up five runs in four-plus innings. Of the seven hits he allowed, four were doubles and one was Reyes’ homer.
Chicago third baseman Kris Bryant left after the fifth inning. He was hit in the left wrist by a pitch in the fourth.
In the second, Corey Dickerson hit a one-out double to right and Jose Osuna walked before Reyes homered to left, his third, for a 3-0 Pittsburgh lead.
The Pirates added a run in the third. Starling Marte lined a double down the line in left and moved to third on Josh Bell’s groundout. Francisco Cervelli followed with an RBI double to center.
In the fifth, Adam Frazier led off with a double to center, chasing Montgomery. Against Brandon Kintzler, Marte flied out, moving Frazier to third. Cervelli’s groundout scored Frazier to make it 5-0.
Reyes drew a four-pitch walk from reliever Alec Mills to lead off the sixth. An out later, Archer singled up the middle. Jorge De La Rosa replaced Mills and got Frazier to pop out but walked Marte to load the bases. De La Rosa then walked Bell to force in a run and give Pittsburgh a 6-0 lead.
–Field Level Media