Cubs woes at home continue in 6-2 loss to Royals
The Cubs rededicated a fully renovated Wrigley Field on Thursday, but the same sad season continued Friday.
They finished a road trip by winning two in a row in Cincinnati. Back at home, they lost 6-2 to Kansas City, running their home losing streak to 11 straight, one off the franchise record set in 1994.
With the record streak on the line, they'll bring up Keegan Thompson from Iowa to start Saturday. Thompson joins Justin Steele in the rotation, giving the Cubs two starting pitchers who weren't rated as top prospects at the start of this season, but had success in the bullpen.
If Thompson and Steele do well as starting pitchers the rest of this season, it could be a sign the Cubs have taken a step forward with their pitching development.
"We're looking forward to seeing how much success these guys can have in the starting rotation," manager David Ross said. "They've already done a nice job out of the bullpen."
Friday's game didn't feature any hope for the future beyond Patrick Wisdom's 19th home run of the season. Frank Schwindel went 0-for-4, ending his streak of seven straight games with an extra-base hit.
The Cubs managed 5 hits, one by starting pitcher Zach Davies, and had just 3 baserunners during the final six innings.
"It's a transition period for the Cubs," Davies said. "I've been a part of that before. You come in every day trying to take the positives and have a good time.
"You get excited for guys having career days or doing something they wouldn't have had the opportunity without the situation that we're in. So I enjoy watching the games. I know the situation we're in and I'm trying to find the positive every day."
Cubs pitchers gave up 5 solo home runs to the Royals, four of which were given up by Davies. The Cubs also found new ways to squander a lead.
They went ahead 1-0 on Wisdom's home run. In the third inning, Ian Happ delivered a 2-run single that appeared to make it 3-0.
But Happ got a little careless as he rounded first base. Royals first baseman Carlos Santana cut off the throw to the plate, Happ slipped while trying to put on the brakes and was tagged out. Umpires counted the Cubs' third run, then erased it based on replay. It looked like Happ was tagged literally a half-step before Rafael Ortega touched the plate.
The Cubs' lead was reduced to 2-0 and the Royals' solo home run binge began in the next inning as catcher Salvador Perez hit the first of two.
"Two good pitches and two bad pitches for the home runs," Davies said. "With Perez and his first home run, I joked with him that the ball was going to hit the dirt right behind home plate. The next home run from him it was just a 3-0 pitch that slipped."
Before the game, Ross said the Cubs are hoping Nico Hoerner (hamstring) will be ready to start a rehab assignment next week.