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Cubs tie dubious mark with loss to Royals

With the defeat Saturday, the Cubs dropped their 12th straight at home, matching a franchise record set in 1994. 

After review, the Cubs’ Robinson Chirinos was ruled to have blocked the plate, allowing Andrew Benintendi to score.
AP Photos

Over the last few years, the Cubs have made a lot of history. More came Saturday, but it wasn’t the kind they like to see.

With a 4-2 loss to the Royals, the Cubs dropped their 12th consecutive home game, matching a franchise record set in 1994. Since their last home victory July 26, the Cubs have been outscored 90-32 at Wrigley Field.

Before the game, manager David Ross said he wasn’t aware of the streak and its historical implications, and when he was filled in, he didn’t seem that interested. He doubted that the players knew about the streak, either.

“We’re trying to win on a daily basis,” Ross said. “I don’t think we get too caught up in streaks. We go out and do our best every single day. If those losses pile up, that definitely [stinks], but we’re trying to win them all.”

For a while Saturday, it looked like the Cubs would make even more dubious history.

Royals left-hander Kris Bubic held them hitless for six innings and started the seventh inning after a 34-minute weather delay. Bubic walked Frank Schwindel and then allowed Patrick Wisdom’s two-run homer, ending the no-hit bid.

Royals manager Mike Matheny was irritated that the game was stopped for rain that wasn’t as severe as anticipated, ruining Bubic’s rhythm.

“That’s just a shame he wasn’t able to finish that,” Matheny said. “That was an embarrassment. You pull us off the field, that rain better happen. I hope there’s some sort of follow-up. That can’t happen.”

Not only was it the Cubs’ lone hit, the home run was Wisdom’s 20th, tying him with the Marlins’ Orestes Destrade (1993) for the National League record for homers in a season by a rookie 29 years or older.

Dreaming of Iowa

As expected, MLB announced Friday that the Cubs will play the Reds in next year’s Field of Dreams game in Dyersville, Iowa. The Cubs’ participation in the Aug. 11, 2022, spectacle was presumed after Ross spilled the beans about it earlier this month.

Now that it’s official, Ross was able to speak about the trip more freely, saying he’s excited about the event and looking forward to experiencing something unique along with the players and coaching staff.

“That’s going to be a tough ticket to get,” Ross said.

What happened?

The Cubs thought they were out of the fifth inning when a relay from Michael Hermosillo to David Bote to Robinson Chirinos easily got Andrew Benintendi at home on Michael A. Taylor’s double to left.

But Matheny successfully challenged that Chirinos was blocking the plate, increasing the Royals’ lead to 3-0. Ross said he didn’t get feedback from the umpires about the call and thought it shouldn’t have mattered whether Chirinos was blocking the plate because Benintendi was out by “a good five, six steps.”

Roster moves

Reliever Dan Winkler was put on unconditional release waivers. Outfielder Johneshwy Vargas, designated for assignment Wednesday, cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A Iowa. Reliever Jake Jewell was optioned to Iowa to make room for Keegan Thompson.

Nico news

Nico Hoerner (right oblique strain) will begin a rehab assignment Sunday with

High-A South Bend before moving to Triple-A Iowa later in the week.