How it happened: The Cubs offense didn't take full advantage of erratic Pirates' starter Ross Ohlendorf. Ohlendorf gave the Cubs numerous opportunities to break the game open -- giving up seven hits, two walks, and hitting two men in only four innings of work -- but they managed only three runs. The Cubs finally got the big hit they needed in the seventh, when Alfonso Soriano doubled in two runs for a 5-3 lead. However, the Cubs’ early lack of offense came back to haunt them in the ninth as Derrek Lee hit a two-out grand slam off closer Carlos Marmol.
What it means: Casey Coleman performed well as he tries to get a leg up on the competition with three spots likely open in next season's rotation. Coleman gave up only one earned run while striking out six and walking three (one intentionally).
Outside the box: Without a GM in place, Tom Ricketts decided to give VP of player personnel Oneri Fleita a new four-year contract. With the Detroit Tigers trying to lure Fleita away, Ricketts felt compelled to make a bold move and keep Fleita with the organization.
What’s next: Randy Wells (6-4, 5.06) looks to carry his solid August (4-0, 3.32, 27 K, 8 BB) into September as the Cubs try to salvage a weekend series from Charlie Morton (9-8, 3.74) and the Pirates on Sunday at Wrigley Field at 1:20 pm.