Rapid Reaction: Pirates 3, Cubs 1

September, 2, 2011
9/02/11
4:47
PM CT
Levine By Bruce Levine
ESPNChicago.com
Archive
CHICAGO -- Here's a quick look at the Cubs' 3-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday:

How it happened: Ryan Dempster received early run support from Carlos Pena, who hit his 25h home run in the second inning off Pirates starter Brian Burres to give the Cubs a 1-0 lead. Dempster gave up two runs in the third inning with an RBI single by Josh Harrison and a run-scoring double from Garrett Jones. Alex Presley's second triple of the game sent Dempster to the showers with one out in the seventh. Dempster struck out nine and walked one, allowing five hits. He threw a season-high 121 pitches.

What it means: Dempster has gone four straight starts without a victory. He also has lost three straight for the first time this seasonb. The Cubs have been held to one run the past two games. The Cubs made two more errors and now have a major league-high 116 for the season.

Outside the box: The Cubs called up first baseman Bryan LaHair from Triple-A Iowa on Friday. No other players will be called up before Tuesday. Pitcher Andrew Cashner is the only one known for sure to be recalled. Pena now has five straight seasons of 25 or more home runs. The Cubs finished August with a 16-13 record, their first winning month of the season. Their 39 home runs were the most in the National League for the month.

Next: The Cubs and Pirates continue the series at 12:05 p.m. Saturday with Casey Coleman (2-7, 7.14) opposing Pittsburgh right-hander Ross Ohlendorf (0-1, 6.27).

Bruce Levine | email

Chicago baseball beat reporter
Bruce Levine has covered sports in Chicago for over 28 years and hosts "Talkin' Baseball," heard Saturday mornings on ESPN 1000.

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Starlin Castro
BA HR RBI R
.278 11 52 43
OTHER LEADERS
HRA. Rizzo 20
RBIS. Castro 52
RA. Rizzo 61
OPSA. Rizzo .886
WJ. Hammel 8
ERAJ. Samardzija 2.83
SOJ. Hammel 104