Losing Ian Happ in the fourth inning was just one of many setbacks suffered Thursday by the Chicago Cubs, who wasted several opportunities in losing to the host Pittsburgh Pirates, 6-2, snapping a three-game winning streak.
The Cubs were 1 for 9 with runners in scoring position and stranded nine runners after scoring 26 runs in the previous three games. Those shortcomings caught up with Alec Mills, who failed to pitch more than five innings for the second consecutive start.
Happ fouled a pitch that bounced off the plate and struck him above the right eye during an at-bat in the fourth inning. He left the game and was diagnosed with a bruise. X-rays were negative.
The third inning was a microcosm of the Cubs’ problems. Happ’s double advanced Jason Kipnis to third with no outs, but the Cubs managed only one run — on a J.T. Riddle throwing error — as Javier Baez and Kyle Schwarber struck out in succession.