The Pittsburgh Pirates lost their seventh straight game Friday and kept fading in the NL wild-card race as Starlin Castro hit a three-run homer that sent the Chicago Cubs to a 7-4 win.
The Pirates have dropped 11 of 13 overall. They began the day three games behind St. Louis for the final NL playoff spot.
Chris Rusin (1-2) notched his first major league victory, allowing two runs in five-plus innings in his fourth career start.
The Cubs led 4-3 in the sixth before Castro connected.