Joe Musgrove pitched three-hit ball through six innings as the Pittsburgh Pirates beat Chicago 9-5 on Thursday night and extended the Cubs' losing streak to nine games.
Musgrove (11-12) was charged with three runs, two earned, while striking eight and walking two as the Pirates recorded a three-game sweep. Musgrove won his final three outings.
The Cubs are in the midst of their longest losing streak since dropping 12 straight in 2012. Chicago will miss the postseason for the first time since 2014 after being eliminated from the NL wild-card race Wednesday night.
Chicago, however, can still play a role in the outcome of the Central Division standings. The Cubs close out the season with a three-game series at division-leading St. Louis starting Friday night. The Cardinals hold a one-game lead over Milwaukee.
Melky Cabrera, Jose Osuna and Pablo Reyes each had three hits for the Pirates, who finished with 16 hits. Reyes also doubled and tripled. Erik Gonzalez extended his hitting streak to 10 games.
Jose Quintana (13-9) was tagged for seven runs, five earned, on 12 hits in his last start of the year. The left-hander won his other four starts against Pittsburgh this season and ended the year allowing 23 runs in 13 1/3 innings in his last four outings.
Musgrove gave up all three of his runs in the sixth when Ian Happ hit a two-run double and scored on Victor Cartini's single as the Cubs closed within 7-3.
Alec Mills (1-0, 2.90 ERA) will make his fourth start and eighth appearance of the season Friday night against Cardinals RHP Dakota Hudson (16-7, 3.45). Mills pitched 4 2/3 scoreless innings against St. Louis last Friday.