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Pirates' offense listless in 4-1 loss

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Jon Lester struck out seven Pirates, walked one and gave up only a Sean Rodriguez solo shot over seven innings as the Bucs lost Saturday, 4-1.

Pitchers on both sides benefited from an unusually wide strike zone, but the Cubs' offense came through while the Pirates' didn't. The Cubs got one in the first on a pair of singles and a sacrifice fly, then responded to Rodriguez's first-pitch homer in the third with a walk, a single and a groundout to make it 2-1.

After that came a bunch of good innings for Gerrit Cole (who departed after six with eight strikeouts) and a ton of LOBs for the Pirates, who hit 1-for-14 with runners in scoring position. In the seventh, Arquimedes Caminero got sloppy (really sloppy, actually) with three walks, a wild pitch and a balk, and the Cubs scored two more runs. But the damage had already been done, and the Bucs' offense continued to LOB its way to oblivion, skipping down a road it's traveled so frequently this season.