As bad as things have gotten, at least the Pirates are still ahead of the Cubs. The idea that the Cubs would get into striking distance of the Pirates seemed crazy six weeks ago, but earlier this afternoon, there they were, just three games back of the Bucs for fourth place, and with a plum matchup against Brian Burres. (Not that it's momentous stuff, either way, but it sure would have been depressing to fall behind the Cubs.)
Well, Burres somehow struck out five batters in 5.1 innings, and the Pirates' bullpen, which has seemed so rickety recently, was dominant, striking out five batters of its own in the remaining 3.2. The Cubs' only run came in the second, when Carlos Pena took a hanging 90-MPH Burres fastball over the wall in center.
In the third, Josh Harrison dumped an RBI single into right (scoring Alex Presley, who had tripled to lead off the inning), and Garrett Jones brought home another run with a double to the wall. They added an insurance run in the seventh as Presley tripled again and came home on an opposite-field single by Jose Tabata. Presley had three hits, scoring two runs.