Cubs swept by Indians after getting no-hit for six innings in 1-0 loss

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Baez swats his gum with his helmet after flying to center to end the game. //Photo: Jon Durr/Getty Images

So much for that feel-good vibe Sunday coming out of Cincinnati and all the ‘‘we’re in a good place’’ banter in the clubhouse as the Cubs returned home to open a two-game series against the Indians.

By the time the Cubs paid homage to Javy Baez’s failed World Series bunt in Game 7 by having him try it again against the same team Wednesday — with worse results — the Indians were well on their way to a 1-0 victory and a two-game sweep.

No-hit for six innings by a rookie making his second major-league start, the Cubs were held to one run in the two games, going 1-for-16 with men in scoring position and dropping into fourth place in the National League Central, four games behind the Brewers.

At least it’s early, right?

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‘‘I think we’re better than what our record shows,’’ said left fielder Kyle Schwarber, whose two-out single in the eighth was the last gasp of life for the Cubs’ lineup in the series. ‘‘We’ve just got to be able to continue to be us and play our game. . . . If we continue to do what we believe in, good things are going to happen.’’

Until then, this is what has happened this month alone: The Cubs are 8-2 and have scored 8.1 runs a game against last-place teams and are 1-9 with 2.5 runs a game against everyone else.

‘‘Of course, it’s frustrating,’’ manager Joe Maddon said. ‘‘We’ve lost that game several times this year — really close, low-scoring, unable to get the big hit when we need it.’’

They were unable to get any hits until the seventh against Adam Plutko on the way to their fourth 1-0 loss of the season.

Then they squandered their best chance to score once Anthony Rizzo led off the seventh with a double.

The Cubs are so bad with men in scoring position these days that when Willson Contreras followed Rizzo with their first such hit since Sunday, they still came away without a run. Contreras’ infield single to second put runners at the corners and knocked Plutko out of the game, with bullpen ace Andrew Miller taking over.

Then Maddon called on Baez for a safety squeeze with one strike.

‘‘High strikeout percentage vs. Miller,’’ Maddon reasoned. ‘‘And Javy’s one of the best bunters [on the team], him and Jonny [Lester]. I talked to him about it in the dugout. He kind of liked it, so we went with it.’’

It wasn’t an exact replica of his two-strike bunt attempt in Game 7 that ticked foul for strike three and angered Jason Heyward, who was stranded at third, enough that it led to the players-only meeting in the weight room during the 10th-inning rain delay in Cleveland.

This time Baez bunted back toward the mound, with Miller charging and flipping to catcher Yan Gomes to get a sliding Rizzo.

After a Cubs challenge, the call was confirmed. Soon after, the Cubs were done, losing three of four to the Indians this season after splitting two games against them last month in Cleveland.

‘‘I don’t think it really takes momentum away because there’s still a guy in scoring position, and that’s the positive thing on that play,’’ said Schwarber, who left out the part about the Cubs’ miserable numbers with men in scoring position. ‘‘But obviously it would have been a lot better if Rizz was able to score there.’’

The low-wattage night for the lineup wasted Lester’s best start of the season. He allowed only six singles and a walk in a seven-inning performance.

‘‘That was probably physically the best I’ve felt in a long time,’’ said Lester, who was hampered by rain delays and postponements the last four times he was scheduled to pitch.

Afterward, Lester wasn’t down on the roller-coaster lineup.

‘‘I love our lineup,’’ he said. ‘‘I love our guys.’’

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