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Pirates Vs. Cubs Final Score: Bucs Continue Slide, Fall 7-4 To Chicago

The Pittsburgh Pirates were unable to get back on track Friday, losing the first game of a four-game series against the Chicago Cubs by the score of 7-4.

The tale of two halves continued for Pirates starting pitcher James McDonald, who allowed four earned runs on five hits while walking four and striking out two batters in just 3-2/3 innings. After managing to post a phenomenal 2.73 ERA in the first half of the season, McDonald's second-half struggles have continued.

Meanwhile, the Pirates were held hitless by Cubs starting pitcher Chris Rusin until the fifth inning, when Gaby Sanchez doubled on a liner to left field. Pittsburgh's bats managed to score one run in the inning and continued to show signs of life from there on out. However, it wasn't enough to pull off a come-from-behind victory.

Losers of seven straight games, the Pirates now find themselves trailing the St. Louis Cardinals, who currently occupy the second Wild Card spot, by 3.5 games.

For more on the Pittsburgh Pirates, visit Bucs Dugout and SB Nation Pittsburgh.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.