Deep-thinking manager Joe Maddon couldn't pinpoint a reason the Cubs have lost five consecutive road series.

"I don't feel anything different," Maddon said Monday night before the Cubs opened a four-game series against the Pirates at PNC Park. "I'm not noticing things differently. Maybe the other teams have gotten better. It might be part of it.

"We have to do better on the road. By no means is it an intimidation factor or a youth factor. That's always been my concern with young teams in the past."

The Cubs were 44-37 on the road in each of the last two seasons. Maddon recalled when, during his first season with the Cubs in 2015, they eventually overcame their late-inning struggles at Busch Stadium.

"We're well beyond that stuff," Maddon said. "I'd be making something up, and I don't know what it is. We just have to be better at it. We're capable of being better at it. Maybe grabbing a lead and holding on to leads as opposed to trying to come back as much as we've tried to.

"I don't have a concrete answer for that."

Barnette on restricted list

The Cubs placed reliever Tony Barnette on the restricted list after he failed to report to Triple-A Iowa three days after they optioned the 35-year-old to make room for closer Craig Kimbrel.

"Tony is re-evaluating things with his family right now," general manager Jed Hoyer said. "He's done this at a high level. He's trying to figure out the next step.

"We'll give him the time to do that. He's a pro and a good dude. He's at that point in his career he wants to think things over."

Sunday start in question

The Cubs will evaluate the performance and health of Kyle Hendricks on Tuesday night before naming a starter for Sunday's game against the White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field. Jon Lester will face Lucas Giolito on Saturday night in the opener of the two-game series.

Yu Darvish will make his final start of the first half Wednesday, and he's content with the plan to give him extra rest heading into the All-Star break.

"I want to pitch, but they're smarter than me," Darvish said. "I just listen to what they want. My body feels good.

"As I was saying, I need a win -- that's it."

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