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Pirates mystified by Kyle Hendricks, fall to Cubs, 3-0

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Hendricks' slow-moving, loopy fastballs made me seasick just watching, and the Pirates hitters didn't have much of a beat on them, either, as the Bucs fell silently to the Cubs, 3-0, on Tuesday night.

Anthony Rizzo smacked a two-run homer off Chad Kuhl in the first inning, which was enough for the Cubs on its own. They added another run in the second, though, as Starling Marte's throw home was a little too off target and a little too late to get Addison Russell on Miguel Montero's single.

The Pirates didn't have an immediate response -- they had little response at all -- and this 3-0 lead felt a little more secure than the three-run leads each team enjoyed, then blew, one night before.

The Bucs got just three hits off Hendricks, four in total. Hendricks struck out four and walked one in seven innings, inducing eight groundouts and very little square contact.

The Pirates didn't help themselves the few times they got on the bases -- their first two that got on promptly made outs. Josh Harrison got picked off in the fourth after drawing a walk, and Gregory Polanco got caught stealing after his single in the fifth, the first Pirates hit of the night.

In the sixth, John Jaso got a pinch-hit, two-out double that didn't get the Pirates very far. Andrew McCutchen singled in the seventh. After a fielder's choice, Polanco got to second, but that was it.

Which was a shame, because Chad Kuhl was pretty solid, and the mighty, mashing Cubs got just five hits all game. Kuhl allowed four hits in five innings, striking out five and walking two. There was a moment or two I thought Kuhl wasn't getting the calls Hendricks was, but I was probably just frustrated. I mean, Hendricks was straight Maddux-like.

A.J. Schugel pitched two scoreless innings and Jared Hughes threw one.

The Mets beat Miami, 7-4, to pull even with the Pirates in the wild-card race while Miami fell a game behind those two. The Cardinals held on to beat Milwaukee, 2-1, going 2 1/2 up on the Pirates and Mets.