CLEVELAND, Ohio — Francisco Lindor drove in four runs from the leadoff spot. Carlos Carrasco turned in another good start and Tyler Naquin went 4-for-4.
It didn’t matter as the Indians lost to the Cubs, 6-5, in walk-off fashion Tuesday night at Wrigley Field to extend their losing streak to seven games. It is their longest skid since they lost six straight in 2015.
Nick Wittgren hit Willson Contreras to load the bases with one out in the ninth. Then he hit Cameron Maybin to push across Kris Bryant with the winning run.
Could the Indians possibly play themselves out of the postseason? It would be difficult. They entered the game with a 98.8% chance of making the postseason, but with 12 games left they keep tempting fate.
Lindor pulled the Indians into a 5-5 tie with a two-run homer in the ninth off Jeremy Jeffress. But the Cubs came right back against Oliver Perez and Wittgren. Perez, making his first appearance in seven days, walked Bryant with one out. Anthony Rizzo followed with a single to center to move Bryant to third. On came Wittgren and out went the Indians.
The Cubs took a 4-3 lead in the seventh. James Karinchak, the Wild Thing, walked Bryant with one out in seventh. Then he gave up a single to Rizzo and a sacrifice fly to Contreras to break a 3-3 tie.
Chicago made it 5-3 in the eighth thanks to some sloppy Cleveland defense. Phil Maton hit Javier Baez to start the inning. Maton struck out Jason Heyward, but Baez stole second and went all the way home on catcher Sandy Leon’s throwing error. Baez never stopped at third as DeShields was slow to get to the ball and made a short relay throw to Mike Freeman, whose throw home was too late.
The Indians did a nice job against Yu Darvish, one of the NL’s top Cy Young contenders. They reached him for three runs on nine hits, including five doubles.
Carrasco allowed three runs on eight hits in six innings. He has allowed just five earned runs over his last four starts for a 1.80 ERA.
The Indians took a 2-1 lead in the third. Josh Naylor opened the inning with a double to right. It was his first extra-base hit since he came over from San Diego in the Mike Clevinger deal on Aug. 31. DeShields bunted him to third and Naylor continued home when Bryant threw wildly past first on the bunt.
DeShields, credited with a single, went all the way to third on the Bryant’s throwing error. Lindor made it 2-1 with a bloop double to left. Lindor advanced to third on Freeman’s slow roller back to the mound. Jose Ramirez sent a fly ball to right and Lindor tried to score, but Heyward threw him out to end the inning.
The Indians challenged the play, saying catcher Victor Carantini didn’t give Lindor a path to the plate. The call on the field stood. Lindor came back in the fifth to push the Tribe’s lead to 3-1 with a single to center. DeShields, who doubled with one out, scored.
The Cubs caught up to Carrasco in the fifth as the first four batters hit safely to tie the score at 3. Ian Happ opened with a double over DeShields’ head in center. Bryant singled to left as Happ scored. Naylor seemed to have a bead on the ball, but let it drop in front of him. He had a chance to get Happ at the plate, but airmailed a throw to the backstop as Bryant went to second.
Rizzo lined another double to the wall in center to tie it. Contreras singled to right as Rizzo stopped at third. Contreras made an ill-advised attempt to get to second and was thrown out on 9-3-6 relay.
Baez gave the Cubs a 1-0 lead in the second with a one-out homer. Jason Kipnis added a two-out single, but Carrasco ended the inning without further trouble.
RHP Aaron Civale (3-5, 3.88) will face the Cubs and LHP Jon Lester (2-2, 5.05) on Wednesday at 8:15 p.m. at Wrigley Field. SportsTime Ohio, WTAM and WMMS will carry the game.
Civale, who has pitched exactly six innings in each of his last four starts, is 0-3 in those starts. Lester pitched six innings against the Indians on Aug. 11 in Chicago’s 7-1 win at Progressive Field. He allowed one run on three hits.
New Indians face masks for sale: Here’s where you can buy Cleveland Indians-themed face coverings for coronavirus protection, including a single mask ($14.99) and a 3-pack ($24.99). All MLB proceeds donated to charity.
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