Originally written on Fox Sports  |  Last updated 9/30/12
The Pittsburgh Pirates ensured they'd finish with a record 20th straight losing season Sunday when they blew a ninth-inning lead in a 4-3 defeat to the Cincinnati Reds. Pinch-hitter Xavier Paul led off the ninth with a home run off Joel Hanrahan (5-2) and Zack Cozart had a go-head double for Cincinnati, who clinched home-field advantage in the NL division series. They are competing with Washington for best overall record in the league. The Pirates extended their major North American professional sports record. Pittsburgh was 16 games over .500 on Aug. 6, but has lost 18 of 23 to fall to 77-82. Aroldis Chapman walked Jose Tabata to lead off the bottom of the ninth, but Tabata was thrown out at third trying to advance after Chapman's throwing error on a pickoff attempt. Chapman then walked Clint Barmes and allowed a single to Rod Barajas before striking out Michael McKenry and Starling Marte to end the game and earn his 37th save. Joey Votto went 2 for 4 with an RBI double for th...
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