Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Chicago Cubs [Print without images]

Friday, September 2, 2011
Rapid Reaction: Pirates 3, Cubs 1

By Bruce Levine

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).