- Jesse Rogers, Chicago Cubs beat reporter
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How it happened: The Pirates got on the board first when Jordy Mercer hit his second home run in two days in the third inning, but the Cubs responded, as Anthony Rizzo put them in front with a two-run shot in the fourth. It was his 15th of the season. The Pirates retook the lead for good in the fifth by chasing starter Travis Wood for three hits and a walk; Andrew McCutchen had the go-ahead RBI. After Starlin Castro was slow in his attempt to throw Gregory Polanco out with two down in the seventh, Josh Harrison clouted a two-run home run off Justin Grimm to extend the lead. Eli Whiteside got Chicago closer with an RBI double in the bottom of the inning, but that would be the end of the Cubs' scoring.
What it means: The loss slowed the Cubs' momentum -- they’ve been one of the better teams in the league over the past month -- but the concern could be with Wood. He didn’t get out of the fifth, and while he gave up just four hits, he allowed three walks and found himself in a number of three-ball counts. He threw 99 pitches and routinely seemed to be laboring, which has been the case more often than not this year -- at least compared to his All-Star 2013 season. The left-hander fell to 7-6 with a 4.55 ERA.
Rain delay: The start of the game was delayed two hours due to rain.