CHICAGO -- The Chicago Cubs lost this afternoon at Wrigley to the Pirates, 3-2.
Gerrit Cole outpitched Jon Lester as the Pirates hung on for their seventh straight win,.
Pittsburgh increased its lead for the NL's top wild card to 4 1/2 games over the Cubs, who would have secured their first postseason appearance since 2008 with a victory. Chicago would clinch with a loss by San Francisco to Oakland on Friday night.
Cole (18-8) and Lester (10-12) each lasted seven innings, and Mark Melancon held off a rally attempt in the ninth for his major league-leading 51st save in 53 chances.
The Cubs face the Pirates again tomorrow at noon.