Pirates

Rookie pitchers Kuhl, Brault get schooled by 100-win Cubs

Chad Kuhl hands the ball to Clint Hurdle in the fourth inning. - GETTY

Class was in session.

Chad Kuhl's development has been one of the positive stories of 2016 for the Pirates, but the Cubs rolled the rookie righty Monday night at PNC Park, tagging him for five runs in three innings on their way to a 12-2 victory.

Javier Báez' fourth-inning grand slam was the most damaging of the eight hits Kuhl allowed, but his delivery was out of sync most of the night, as he walked two, threw two wild pitches and hit a batter before Clint Hurdle pulled the plug.

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"I think it came down to that fourth inning," Kuhl said. "I felt like I had a decent groove going over the first three, then it kind of unraveled there. I just have to make sure I do a good job to limit the damage."

National League MVP candidate Kris Bryant lined a two-run homer against another first-year Pirate, Steven Brault, to key a six-run sixth that removed any doubt about the outcome.

The Pirates (77-79) have lost three in a row and four of five after a 6-1 run that kept them on the edge of the playoff pursuit. They're five games back with seven to play.

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