PITTSBURGH – While things haven’t gone very well for the Cubs this season, one thing they’ve had is consistency when they reach a certain run threshold.

When they’ve been able to get seven or more runs, they’ve found a way to win a game in 2022. Some might not think that’s much, but usually, when the club is able to put a number of runs on the scoreboard they’ve been able to walk away with a win.

That wouldn’t be the case in Pittsburgh on Thursday afternoon despite a late rally that nearly helped the team salvage a split in their series with the Pirates.

A five-run eighth inning helped the Cubs rally from a four-run deficit to take a brief lead. But a run by the Pittsburgh in the bottom half of the frame forced extra innings which the Pirates used to their advantage.

Michael Chavis’ bloop single to right off reliever Scott Effross was deep enough to allow Ke’Bryan Hayes to score and give the hosts an 8-7 and a win in the series three games to one. Meanwhile, the Cubs lost their first game of the year in which they scored seven or more runs as they fall to 26-44 on the season as they head to St. Louis to face the Cardinals for the first of a three-game series on Friday.

The Pirates were able to get to starter Justin Steele for six runs during his 5 2/3 innings of work to build a 6-2 lead going into the eighth before the Cubs’ bats woke up. Patrick Wisdom started the rally with an RBI single with Nico Hoerner and Alfonso Rivas driving in two runs with their hits to put the Cubs in the lead.

But it wouldn’t last as Chavis hit a solo homer off reliever David Robertson to tie the game and force it to extra innings. In their half of the tenth, the Cubs went down in order before the Pirates won it on Chavis’ hit.