CHICAGO -- Paul Maholm and the Pittsburgh Pirates were finally on a little bit of a roll -- in a game that ended up not counting.
The Pirates at Chicago Cubs game Thursday night was called in the top of the fourth inning after a rain delay of 2 hours, 32 minutes.
Home plate umpire Jim Wolf waved both teams off the field when rain picked up during Garrett Jones' leadoff at-bat. The game will not be made up because both teams have been eliminated from postseason contention and there are just three games left in the season.
The Pirates, leading 3-0, were two innings short of an official game, which would have given them their first three-game winning streak on the road since May 20, when they completed a sweep of the Washington Nationals. The Pirates swept a doubleheader against the Cubs on Wednesday.
Maholm, the Pirates' starter, had his season cut short with the cancellation. He finished 8-9 with a 4.44 ERA, but was disappointed they couldn't finish the game.
"I mean just for the fact that I felt good, we had the lead and for us we need to win, we need to end on a positive note," Maholm said. "For us to play well yesterday and come out and score three, it's disappointing."
Lastings Milledge had a home run to left -- aided by 15 mph winds -- wiped out.
Only a few hundred fans waited the delay out, but all fans with a ticket to the game will be refunded.
The long delay didn't sit well with Maholm.
"It was kind of getting ridiculous sitting around here forever," Maholm said. "But, everybody in here was wanting to go out and finish the game and finish what we started."
Cubs starter Jeff Samardzija was tagged for three runs in the first inning that won't show up in his stats. Samardzija has split the season as a reliever and a starter for the Cubs and also spent stints pitching for Triple-A Iowa. He finished 1-3 with a 7.53 ERA, but manager Lou Piniella has been encouraged with him since he returned to the Cubs from Iowa. He allowed three runs in five innings in his last start against Milwaukee on Sept. 23.
The Cubs were not available after the game, but spoke highly of Samardzija before the start.
"He's worked hard since we sent him down. I really like what we saw the other day against Milwaukee," Piniella said. "[Pitching coach] Larry Rothschild told me I would like the way how he throws and I really did. He went out and competed, his delivery was much smoother, he threw the ball on a downhill plane, his ball had a little sharper break to it.".
Piniella said Samardzija will pitch in winter ball and he expects him to compete for a spot in the starting rotation during spring training.
"I think that's the consensus. He's been back and forth according to the needs of the major league team," Piniella said. "But I think now that we've seen him over the past couple of years, in a different pieces, I think that's the consensus."
Cubs 1B Derrek Lee was scratched from the lineup for personal reasons. ... With a runner on third and two outs, Pirates CF Andrew McCutchen made a diving catch on Jake Fox's ball to end the inning.