Pirates stall Cubs playoff quest anew

Associated Press

CHICAGO – The Chicago Cubs lost again, and this one was particularly painful.

Slugger Kris Bryant exited with a bruised left wrist, Mike Montgomery got hit hard over four-plus innings and the Cubs stumbled to a 6-0 defeat against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday night.

For the second time in as many nights, the Cubs missed a chance to clinch a franchise-record fourth straight trip to the postseason. And their lead in the NL Central over Milwaukee shrunk to a half-game, with the Brewers beating St. Louis, 12-4.

Chicago needed a win plus a loss by Colorado to Philadelphia to secure a playoff spot and extend a run that includes a drought-ending World Series championship in 2016. But the Cubs lost for the fourth time in sixth games while the Rockies won 10-3 to move a half-game ahead of St. Louis for the second wildcard.

In New York, with the playoffs around the corner and the Atlanta Braves rolling along, the last thing the National League East champions need is an injury to their starting shortstop.

Dansby Swanson exited in a 7-3 victory over the New York Mets and was sent for tests on his sore left wrist – the same one that gave him trouble earlier this season.

In Denver, David Dahl homered for a second straight game, a three-run shot in the third, and the Colorado Rockies vaulted into the final NL wildcard spot by beating the Philadelphia Phillies, 10-3.

It was the Rockies’ fifth straight win which moved them a half-game ahead of St. Louis for the second wildcard after the Cardinals lost, 4-12, to Milwaukee. Colorado also pulled within a half-game of the NL West-leading Los Angeles Dodgers, who lost, 3-4, to Arizona. With five games remaining, the Rockies have a chance to win their first division title.    

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