Little mistakes have been piling up lately for the Chicago Cubs.
For a team one game out of last place in the division but riding a four-game series win streak before last weekend’s sweep of Los Angeles, fair play may be the breaker. The suddenly hot Baltimore Orioles, a team that lost 110 games last year, were the latest to take advantage of the Cubs failing to produce a complete game.
With one out and runners on the corners in the sixth inning Tuesday night and the Cubs trailing by a run, Seiya Suzuki doubled over at third base on Nico Hoerner’s lineout to third to end the inning. The Cubs had no other running back in the final three innings of a 4-2 loss at Wrigley Field.
The Cubs (34-53) have lost five straight and seven of nine. The Orioles’ nine-game winning streak is the longest in a season since 1999.
The Cubs made an error for the fourth straight game, preventing starter Adrian Sampson from going past the sixth. Left-hander Brandon Hughes entered with one out after Ramón Urías singled off Sampson to put runners on first and second. Hughes induced a double play to overcome Patrick Wisdom’s fielding error to open the inning.
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While the error did not lead to a race, it did force manager David Ross to call his heavily used bullpen rather than let Sampson, on 91 pitches, potentially throw a possible two-out single off Urias.
The Cubs have 13 errors in their last 12 games, including four multi-error games.
Ross declined to speculate on the reasons for the recent defensive blunders, though he did mention it could be due to fatigue.
“Just like hitting, you’re going to go through times where you’re not fielding it cleanly,” Ross said. “And sometimes those things stand out and blend together. It’s just one of those things that we’ll keep working on and try to get better at.”
Ian Happ homered in his first at-bat at Wrigley since he made the All-Star team. The runs in the first and second didn’t hold up as the Cubs recorded just four more hits, all singles.