5-run 7th leads Cubs to series win over Crew

5-run 7th leads Cubs to series win over Crew

MILWAUKEE -- All the Cubs want to do is win series, and they did just that on Sunday, rallying from a four-run deficit to beat the Brewers, 6-5, in front of a sellout crowd of 43,310 at Miller Park. Anthony Rizzo sparked a five-run seventh with a go-ahead three-run double to give Chicago its third straight series win since the All-Star break, a first for the franchise since it won five series in a row after the break in 1936.

The Brewers got a solid outing from starter Junior Guerra and ran at will against Chicago's Jon Lester, who was knocked out after four-plus innings. Trailing 4-1 in the seventh, Tommy La Stella hit an RBI double off the Brewers' Will Smith, and the Cubs then loaded the bases to set up Rizzo, who lined a double to the right-center-field gap to open a 5-4 lead and raise his RBI total to 75. Ben Zobrist then drove in Rizzo with an RBI single.

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Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast.

Curt Hogg is a reporter for MLB.com based in Milwaukee.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Nathan registers win, K's side in Cubs debut

Veteran reliever has 377 career saves across 15 big league seasons

Nathan registers win, K's side in Cubs debut

MILWAUKEE -- Joe Nathan joked that he was so nervous running in from the bullpen on Sunday that he needed a defibrillator when he got to the mound. For the first time since his second Tommy John surgery, he was pitching in the big leagues. And the right-hander got into a mess pretty quickly, before showing why he could be a key piece for the Cubs down the stretch.

Nathan, activated from the disabled list Sunday, started the sixth inning against the Brewers, and gave up a triple to Jonathan Villar, then walked Hernan Perez. Nathan now faced the Brewers' 3-4-5 batters, Ryan Braun, Jonathan Lucroy and Chris Carter. And he struck out all three.

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Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cubs could be in mix for Chapman

Reports have Chicago considering moving top prospect for Yanks closer

Cubs could be in mix for Chapman

MILWAUKEE -- The Cubs did add former closer Joe Nathan to the bullpen this weekend, but that may be a minor fix if the team makes a big splash and acquires hard-throwing closer Aroldis Chapman.

There were reports Sunday night that the Cubs and Yankees were finalizing a trade which would send Chapman to Chicago in exchange for top prospect Gleyber Torres, 19. Ranked No. 1 among the Cubs' top 30 prospects, according to MLB.com, Torres was scheduled to start Sunday night for Class A Advanced Myrtle Beach, but the shortstop was a late scratch. He was batting .275 in 94 games with the Pelicans.

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Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Russell exits vs. Crew with left heel contusion

Shortstop's status unknown for upcoming series vs. White Sox

Russell exits vs. Crew with left heel contusion

MILWAUKEE -- Cubs shortstop Addison Russell had to leave Sunday's 6-5 win over the Brewers after the fourth inning because of a left heel contusion, and his status for Monday's game against the White Sox is uncertain.

Russell apparently fouled a ball off his foot on Saturday, and he was removed as a precautionary measure.

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Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Warren to start in Triple-A; Maddon optimistic

Fowler gets day off Sunday; Coghlan, Soler rehabbing in Double-A

Warren to start in Triple-A; Maddon optimistic

MILWAUKEE -- Adam Warren was optioned to Triple-A Iowa on Sunday to make room on the Cubs' roster for Joe Nathan, who was activated from the 60-day disabled list. Warren will start for Iowa.

"We still believe he's going to be able to help us in that role," manager Joe Maddon said Sunday of Warren, who had a 6.60 ERA in 28 relief appearances and one start for the Cubs.

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Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Arrieta toes rubber in crosstown opener vs. White Sox

Arrieta toes rubber in crosstown opener vs. White Sox

The Crosstown Series between the Cubs and White Sox kicks off with the first of four games on Monday night at US Cellular Field at 7:10 p.m. CT. The White Sox will play host to the first two games of the series, with the latter pair of contests taking place on the north side at Wrigley Field on Wednesday and Thursday.

This year's edition of the rivalry features two clubs trending in opposite directions. Long gone are the days when the Chicago teams possessed the two best records in baseball; the Cubs still remain atop the league standings, but the White Sox now find themselves in fourth place in the AL Central.

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Curt Hogg is a reporter for MLB.com based in Milwaukee. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

De La Cruz among top prospect performers Sunday

Nationals' No. 5 prospect hurls his first shutout following big league debt

De La Cruz among top prospect performers Sunday

Reynaldo Lopez is eager to get back to the big leagues.

In his first start since debuting with the Nationals on July 19, Lopez recorded his first shutout on Sunday as Triple-A Syracuse defeated Rochester, 6-0. The Nationals' No. 5 prospect scattered four hits and struck out seven in nine dominant innings, throwing 69 of his 99 pitches for strikes.

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Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Winless stretch continues for Lackey

Winless stretch continues for Lackey

MILWAUKEE -- Mike Montgomery won't want to remember his Cubs debut. Kirk Nieuwenhuis greeted the left-hander with a three-run homer in the eighth inning, his second home run of the game and first off a southpaw this season, to lead the Brewers to a 6-1 victory over the Cubs on Saturday night. Chicago acquired Montgomery from the Mariners on Wednesday.

"For Montgomery, that's just unfortunate," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "I hope he just files that very quickly because it looked like his stuff was outstanding. They beat us, they just beat us. Give them credit."

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Curt Hogg is a reporter for MLB.com based in Milwaukee.

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Zobrist, Heyward working hard to end slumps

Maddon confident Cubs duo will get on track in the near future

Zobrist, Heyward working hard to end slumps

MILWAUKEE -- The Cubs knew Ben Zobrist wasn't going to bat .406 the entire year, as he did in May. They also know Jason Heyward is better than his .231 average would indicate. Both players took early batting practice Saturday, but their efforts weren't enough to beat the Brewers.

Zobrist ended an 0-for-24 skid with a single in the seventh and finished 2-for-4, while Heyward was 1-for-4 in the Cubs' 6-1 loss to the Brewers on Saturday night at Miller Park.

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Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cubs fans use ice to wake up their sleeping friend

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Cubs fans use ice to wake up their sleeping friend

You're at the ballpark, it's the eighth inning and your favorite team is down, 3-1. You think it's a fine time to close your eyes for just a moment, to get a little rest so you're rarin' to go for the ninth and, eventually, the trip home. There's no harm in nodding off for a second, right?

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Zobrist breaks hitless skid, forgets how to celebrate

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Zobrist breaks hitless skid, forgets how to celebrate

Heading into the Cubs' matchup with the Brewers on Saturday, Ben Zobrist was hitless in his last 22 at-bats -- a streak spanning six straight games. A popout and a groundout in his first two plate appearances of the night quickly ran the skid to 24. And then, in the top of the seventh, finally: a base hit! Children danced. Birds sang. There was much rejoicing.

As Zobrist rounded first, he looked back toward the Chicago dugout, eager to celebrate with his teammates ... except, well, it had been so long since he'd reached base that he wasn't quite sure what the proper motion was.

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Fowler sets tone as Cubs take care of Crew

Fowler sets tone as Cubs take care of Crew

MILWAUKEE -- How much did the Cubs miss Dexter Fowler? A lot. Playing his first game since June 18, Fowler smacked a leadoff home run and a two-run double, finishing a triple shy of the cycle to back Jason Hammel and lead the Cubs to a 5-2 victory on Friday over the Brewers at Miller Park.

"It was a wonderful evening for him, and it's really apparent how important he is to us," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said of Fowler.

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Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast.

Curt Hogg is a reporter for MLB.com based in Milwaukee.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Feeling 'like Opening Day,' Fowler flourishes

Back from DL, Cubs CF opens game with HR and finishes triple shy of cycle

Feeling 'like Opening Day,' Fowler flourishes

MILWAUKEE -- When Dexter Fowler checked in with Joe Maddon in his office Friday, the Cubs manager greeted him with, "You go, we go." That's the saying Maddon would give Fowler before each at-bat, and he has not used it since the outfielder has been on the disabled list. On Friday, Fowler was activated, Maddon sent him to the plate with his message, and the result was a leadoff home run.

Fowler returned with a bang, going 3-for-4 with a walk and scored two runs in the Cubs' 5-2 victory over the Brewers. He smacked a 3-1 pitch from the Brewers' Jimmy Nelson to straightaway center for his 18th career leadoff homer and fourth this season in the first, and hit a two-run double in the second.

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Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Edwards' shirt, performance garner attention

Cubs rookie reliever retires heart of Brewers' order in latest impressive effort

Edwards' shirt, performance garner attention

MILWAUKEE -- Carl Edwards Jr.'s day started well. When the reliever boarded the team bus, Cubs manager Joe Maddon complimented him on his rose-printed shirt. After Friday's game, Maddon complimented Edwards on his outing.

The Cubs led by two runs when the rookie entered the game in the sixth inning after starter Jason Hammel had given up a leadoff double to Scooter Gennett, and had to face the No. 3-4-5 hitters for the Brewers, Ryan Braun, Jonathan Lucroy and Chris Carter. Edwards retired the side, striking out Lucroy and Carter. Chicago held on for a 5-2 victory over Milwaukee.

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Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Almora married Thursday, optioned Friday

Maddon says Cubs rookie will certainly be back

Almora married Thursday, optioned Friday

MILWAUKEE -- With Cubs center fielder Dexter Fowler activated from the disabled list before Friday's 5-2 win over the Brewers, Albert Almora Jr. was optioned to Triple-A Iowa to make room. When Almora was playing for Iowa, he planned on marrying his longtime girlfriend Krystal in a civil ceremony in Des Moines, but on the date they had set, he was called up to the Cubs.

On Thursday, Almora finally tied the knot at a Chicago courthouse and teammates Kris Bryant, Kyle Schwarber, Addison Russell and Justin Grimm were present. On Friday, Almora found out he's headed back to Iowa. "It's bittersweet," Almora said. "Now I get to go and work every day and try to get better and come back and help the team whenever that is."

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Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Montgomery shocked by deal, happy to join Cubs

Lefty reliever knows Maddon from Rays' system; Patton optioned to Triple-A

Montgomery shocked by deal, happy to join Cubs

MILWAUKEE -- Mike Montgomery admitted he was shocked when he was called into the clubhouse during the Mariners' game Wednesday and told he'd been traded to the Cubs.

"At first, you're kind of bummed, because, you're like, 'Man, I'm going to miss a lot of these guys,'" Montgomery said. "Then, you look at it, and say, 'I'm going to a really good place and have a chance to be part of something special.'"

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Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rizzo, Lucroy join forces to fight cancer

All-Stars encourage fans in Illinois, Wisconsin to donate to non-profit organizations

Rizzo, Lucroy join forces to fight cancer

MILWAUKEE -- A pair of All-Stars and rivals on the field are teaming up off of it.

Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy and Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo are joining forces in support of the "Cancer Knows No Borders" campaign as they hope to encourage residents of Wisconsin and Illinois to donate to their choice of two cancer non-profit organizations, each of which is represented by one of the All-Stars.

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Curt Hogg is a reporter for MLB.com based in Milwaukee. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cubs recall moments from Griffey's HOF career

Schwarber was a young fan, Ross a teammate and Maddon an opposing coach

Cubs recall moments from Griffey's HOF career

CHICAGO -- Kyle Schwarber grew up in Middletown, Ohio, which is about 38 miles from Cincinnati, and he used to go to Reds games to watch Ken Griffey Jr. play.

"I have a picture of myself in T-ball wearing my hat backwards like he would in the Home Run Derby," Schwarber said. "I always used to do the Griffey stance with a wood bat when I was in T-ball. He's one of the guys you looked up to when you were little. That's who you wanted to go see play -- you were like, 'I want to watch Ken Griffey Jr. play.'"

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Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cubs land Montgomery from Mariners in 4-player deal

Chicago also receives Pries, parts with prospects Vogelbach, Blackburn

Cubs land Montgomery from Mariners in 4-player deal

CHICAGO -- The Cubs added what they hope will be a key piece to the bullpen on Wednesday, acquiring left-handed reliever Mike Montgomery from the Mariners for Minor League prospects Dan Vogelbach and Paul Blackburn.

Montgomery was 3-4 with a 2.34 ERA in 32 games (two starts) with the Mariners this season. Left-handed hitters were batting .164 against him. The Cubs also get Minor League right-handed pitcher Jordan Pries in the deal.

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Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Heyward hits 99 mph in perfect throw to plate

Baez also makes sparkling play as Cubs show off defense in win over Mets

Heyward hits 99 mph in perfect throw to plate

CHICAGO -- Jason Heyward showed off his Gold Glove skills, while Javier Baez made a dazzling catch in Wednesday's 6-2 Cubs win over the Mets to back pitcher Kyle Hendricks.

With two outs in the fourth, James Loney and Travis d'Arnaud both singled off Hendricks. Loney then tried to score on Kelly Johnson's single to center, but he was thrown out at home as Heyward fired a strike to catcher Miguel Montero.

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Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rizzo, Hendricks help Cubs get the best of Mets

Rizzo, Hendricks help Cubs get the best of Mets

CHICAGO -- The constant for the Cubs since the All-Star break has been the starting pitching, and Kyle Hendricks continued that trend on Wednesday against the Mets. It didn't hurt to have Anthony Rizzo launch a pair of home runs into the right-field bleachers at Wrigley Field either.

Rizzo belted two homers, driving in three, and Addison Russell smacked a two-run double to back Hendricks and lift the Cubs to a 6-2 victory over the Mets to take the series. The Cubs couldn't match the Mets' sweep in New York, but Chicago manager Joe Maddon was happy with what he calls a "meatloaf" -- two out of three ain't bad.

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Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast.

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hall of Fame Tour stops in nearby Milwaukee

Hall of Fame Tour a natural fit in Milwaukee, where Hank Aaron got his start

Hall of Fame Tour stops in nearby Milwaukee

Thousands of fans will converge upon Cooperstown to watch as Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Piazza become immortalized in the Hall of Fame this weekend. But for many of those who can't attend Induction Weekend, the Hall of Fame has brought its relics to them.

Baseball's Hall of Fame tour rolled into Milwaukee -- a city more than 300 times the size of Cooperstown -- on July 15, bringing with it an exciting opportunity to catch a glimpse of the game's past. The Tour launched on July 3 at Modern Woodmen Park in Davenport, Iowa, where fans got the first taste of the state-of-the-art baseball experience. Davenport is a mere 90 minutes south of the Field of Dreams site in Dyersville, where Commissioner Rob Manfred unveiled the plans for the traveling exhibit, becoming the first active Commissioner to make a pilgrimage to the storied location.

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Allison Duffy-Davis is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Martinez among top prospect performers Wednesday

Pair of Dodgers pitching prospects each rack up double-digit K's in strong starts

Martinez among top prospect performers Wednesday

Ten was the magic number for a pair of Dodgers pitchers on Wednesday night as both Jose De Leon and Yadier Alvarez struck out 10 hitters in their respective starts for Triple-A Oklahoma City and Class A Great Lakes.

De Leon, the Dodgers' No. 2 prospect and No. 20 on the Top 100, yielded four hits over a career-high eight scoreless innings to pace Oklahoma City in a 7-0 shutout of Tacoma. The 23-year-old right-hander hit one batter but did not issue a walk in the outing, as he demonstrated exemplary command of his arsenal by throwing 80 of his 105 pitches for strikes.

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Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hendricks continues Wrigley Field dominance

Cubs righty lowers home ERA to 1.36 with 6 1/3 scoreless innings vs. Mets

Hendricks continues Wrigley Field dominance

CHICAGO -- There's no place like Wrigley Field for Kyle Hendricks.

The Cubs' right-hander improved to 7-1 at home with a 1.36 ERA on Wednesday after a 6-2 victory over the Mets. Hendricks struck out seven and scattered seven hits over 6 1/3 innings on a scorching hot day.

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Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hammel receives 5 free cartons of potato chips

Cubs righty eating the snack for potassium to help avoid cramping in hand

Hammel receives 5 free cartons of potato chips

CHICAGO -- Who doesn't like potato chips? Who doesn't like receiving five free cartons of potato chips? Cubs pitcher Jason Hammel was delighted by the surprise care packages of several flavors of chips that arrived on Wednesday.

"I was not expecting this," said Hammel, who was given the go-ahead to eat the potato chips to counter some cramping he'd experienced in his right hand prior to the All-Star break.

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Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Aggressive Arrieta gets on track vs. Mets

Cubs right-hander goes seven innings of one-run ball following run of down starts

Aggressive Arrieta gets on track vs. Mets

CHICAGO -- Through the first three innings Tuesday night against the Mets, Cubs starter Jake Arrieta threw 27 pitches, and 25 were strikes. He threw first-pitch strikes to all but one batter in that stretch.

"That's when I'm at my best, when I'm challenging guys right away from the first pitch and putting them on the defensive side and making them swing the bat," Arrieta said. "I expect to pitch more like this as far as the aggressiveness and keeping the ball down in the strike zone."

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Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cubs miss out on big chance in 9th during loss

Cubs miss out on big chance in 9th during loss

CHICAGO -- The Cubs' missed opportunities cost them Tuesday night against the Mets. Rene Rivera smacked an RBI single with two outs in the ninth inning to lift New York to a 2-1 victory at Wrigley Field and even the series at one win apiece. Closer Jeurys Familia picked up his Major League-leading 33rd save by escaping a no-out, bases-loaded jam.

"He's a special guy," Mets manager Terry Collins said of Familia, who is tied for fourth in Major League history with 49 consecutive regular-season save conversions. "That's why I think he's as good as there is in baseball."

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.