The Cubs lost 4-3 to the Giants on Saturday, their third straight loss, dropping to 32-26 this season.
Here are 10 observations from the game.
1. The Cubs got a short start from their rotation for the third straight game. Kohl Stewart exited after 3 2/3 innings in which the Giants tallied seven hits and three runs. It followed short outings from Zach Davies (4 1/3 innings) and Jake Arrieta (2 innings) in this series.
"When we've gotten the lead and we've held it down early, we've been able to turn it to the bullpen," David Ross said. "When we fall behind early or get in some traffic and are not able to get out of that, it taxes the bullpen at some point.
"That's where we're at right now."
2. Patrick Wisdom has filled in admirably with several Cubs position players on the IL, and he’s making a case to stick around. The 29-year-old hit his fourth home run in his last six games (fifth on season), a two-run blast in the second.
3. Wisdom isn’t just off to a good start, but one for the record books. His five home runs are most in Cubs history through a player’s first seven starts.
"The team here does a good job of keeping everybody loose and being able to be yourself in the clubhouse and on the field," Wisdom said. "That's definitely helped a lot.
"Playing alongside these guys elevates your game too. It's been fun."
4. The Cubs lost after taking an early lead on a two-run home run for the third straight game. Joc Pederson and Kris Bryant put them ahead with two-run blasts Thursday and Friday.
5. Outside of Wisdom’s home run, the Cubs were quiet against Kevin Gausman, who entered the day with a 1.40 ERA in 11 starts. After Stewart singled in the third (his first career hit) the Cubs went 0-for-15 against the Giants ace. He struck out 10 in seven innings.
6. Including Rafael Ortega reaching on an error in the ninth, the Cubs went 0-for-20 before getting a hit, after Stewart's single. Javy Báez singled in the ninth, part of a rally where they got the tying run on third base but came up short.
7. Cory Abbott impressed in his big-league debut after the Cubs promoted him from Triple-A earlier Saturday. The right-hander pitched a scoreless sixth and seventh with one strikeout, allowing a walk and infield single.
8. Pederson left the game after the top of the fifth inning with low back tightness. Ortega entered the game in his place, playing center field, while Kris Bryant shifted from center to left.
Pederson tweaked his back bumping into the left field wall pursuing an Alex Dickerson home run in the third, Ross said.
9. Pederson exited on the same day the Cubs another outfielder came off the IL. Jason Heyward returned from a left hamstring strain, his first game since May 19, and went 0-for-4.
10. The Cubs are no longer alone in first place in the NL Central, but tied with the Brewers, who have won three straight. The Cardinals have dropped four consecutive games to drop to third
On deck: The Cubs and Giants finish off their four-game series Sunday at Oracle Park. First pitch is 3:05 p.m. Kyle Hendricks (6-4, 4.62 ERA) and Johnny Cueto (4-1, 3.45 ERA) are the probable starters.