Slugger Kris Bryant exited with a bruised left wrist, Mike Montgomery got hit hard over four-plus innings and the Chicago Cubs stumbled again in their playoff run with a 6-0 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday night.
The Cubs missed a chance to clinch a franchise-record fourth straight trip to the postseason for the second time in as many nights. And their lead in the NL Central over Milwaukee shrunk to a half game, with the Brewers beating St. Louis 12-4.
Chicago needed a win plus a loss by Colorado to Philadelphia to secure a playoff spot and extend a run that includes a drought-ending World Series championship in 2016. But the Cubs lost for the fourth time in sixth games while the Rockies won 10-3.
Bryant got struck by a pitch from Chris Archer (3-3) in the fourth inning and was replaced at third base in the sixth by Ian Happ, who had pinch hit in the fifth.
Montgomery (5-6) gave up five runs and seven hits, and the Cubs got shut out for the 11th time this season.
Archer struck out nine and walked two while pitching four-hit ball over six innings.
Rookie Pablo Reyes homered for the second straight game, a three-run drive in the second. Francisco Cervelli drove in two runs, and Pittsburgh won for the eighth time in 10 games.
The Cubs managed just five hits and went 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position while stranding seven runners.
Chicago got shut down this time after managing just one run - all on homers - in each of their previous five meetings with the Pirates. That was a first for Major League Baseball, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Up next for the Cubs: LHP José Quintana (13-11, 4.11) tries to shake off a loss to the Chicago White Sox. He got tagged for five runs in five innings by his former team after giving up two runs or less in six straight starts.