CHICAGO – For a moment, it looked like a vintage performance by their starter was about to get them out of a losing rut. But then reality struck the hosts hard at Wrigley Field as their opponent struck often against their bullpen.

In fact, the Padres did so at such a frequency against Cubs relief pitchers that they completely flipped the score in four innings.

Down 5-0 when Kyle Hendricks was pulled from the game with no outs in the sixth, the Cubs’ bullpen would allow a dozen runs in a 12-5 defeat at Wrigley Field that’s as frustrating as any this season. It extends the team’s losing streak to a season-high eight games as they now fall 15 games under .500, with their bullpen failing to do the job for a second-straight game vs San Diego.

Chris Martin was the first to relieve Hendricks in the sixth, who didn’t surrender a run when he was in while scattering four hits while striking out six with no walks. But the reliever would allow one run that was charged to Hendricks and three of his own on three hits before Scott Effross came in for him.

He’d give up a single to Ha-Seong Kim to bring in the sixth run of the inning before getting out of it. In the seventh, he put two runners on before getting pulled for Mychal Givens. After giving up a walk to Manny Machado, he surrendered a bases-clearing double to Luke Voit, then gave free passes to two more batters before getting pulled.

Brandon Hughes gave up a single and sacrifice fly that brought in runs and were charged to Givens before getting out the seventh. Eric Stout would surrender a run in the eighth and ninth inning before the damage finally stopped.

It marks the second-straight game where the Cubs’ bullpen wasn’t able to back up a strong effort by a starter. Justin Steele allowed just one run through seven innings on Monday night before San Diego struck for three runs in the eighth inning in a 4-1 loss. This was proceeded by the bullpen allowing 12 runs to the Yankees in an 8-4 loss on Sunday afternoon in New York.

All of this was a part of another difficult finish for the Cubs who are in the worst slump of their season at the moment.