PITTSBURGH — From Starlin Castro to Edwin Jackson, the Cubs remain puzzled by their lack of success on the road.
And any chance of a reversal on this three-city,10-game trip won't come immediately from rookie third baseman Mike Olt.
The Cubs didn't have an answer Monday night for the resumption of their road woes in a 6-2 loss to the Pirates. It dropped their road record to 10-22 as they resembled the team that struggled through the first two months rather than a team that just completed a 5-1 homestand to improve to 15-14 at Wrigley Field.
"I don't know," Castro said of the gap. "We try to figure out what it is."
Said Jackson: "I really don't have the answer. I don't try to get caught up in the numbers."
Jackson's numbers, however, mirror the fortunes of the Cubs (25-36). Jackson is 3-1 at home but fell to 1-5 on the road after allowing a two-run home run and an RBI double to Andrew McCutchen, who raised his lifetime batting average to .461 against Jackson.
McCutchen's production, along with a three-hit performance from Starling Marte that ended an 0-for-23 skid, offset a three-hit performance by Castro that was capped by his home run in the ninth.
Castro's homer was his eighth, one behind Olt — who has made only one start since June 3 and is in the midst of an 0-for-16 slump.
"I've been through a lot worse things, and it takes one at-bat, one swing, and the next thing you're rolling," Olt said.
But it could be a while before Olt, 25, gets a chance.
Before the game, manager Rick Renteria tempered any thought of Olt heading to Triple-A Iowa to get more at-bats and regain his stroke.
"If that's ever to be a situation that we will consider, that would be something we'd be talking about," Renteria said of Olt, who is batting .153. "Right now, that's not (considered). He's here with us. He'll continue to develop his skills here in the scenarios we allow him to take part in.
"He's on the bench. He's going to have some tough at-bats, and a pinch-hit at-bat. That's not the easiest thing to do. He's dealing with these little blows and bumps and bruises."
Another consideration is the logjam of third basemen in the minors. Christian Villanueva of Iowa is considered the organization's best fielding third baseman. And Kris Bryant, who is deserving of a promotion, hit his 22nd home run Monday night for Double-A Tennessee.
In the meantime, Olt will try to absorb as much information from the bench in hopes of getting more at-bats soon and regaining his stroke.
"At this level, you tend to watch the veteran guys and pick up what you can," Olt said.
"I even ask pitchers how they'd approach me. I'm getting a lot of feedback."
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