This was nothing short of a gut punch. The Pirates scraped together a six run fourth inning to take a two run lead only to watch the bullpen surrender three runs in the eighth. The result was the seventh straight loss for a club that is badly in need of answers as they slip - quickly - out of contention in the National League Central race.

That early Chicago lead was built off James MCDonald on homers from Geovany Soto (solo in the third), Carlos Pena (solo in the fourth) and Blake DeWitt (two run in the fourth).

The Pirates put up a six spot in the home half of the fourth to take the lead. Garrett Jones doubled and one out later Ryan Ludwick's first Bucco knock was an RBI single. Consecutive singles from Pedro Alvarez and Ryan Doumit loaded the bases. Xavier Paul's RBI grounder ...

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