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Cubs’ fifth loss in a row makes sell-off more of a reality

Chicago Cubs' David DeJesus (9) reacts after being forced out second base by Cincinnati Reds second baseman BrandPhillips fifth inning

Chicago Cubs' David DeJesus (9) reacts after being forced out at second base by Cincinnati Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips in the fifth inning of a baseball game on Friday, May 24, 2013, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Al Behrman)

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Updated: May 25, 2013 1:24AM

CINCINNATI — The feeling of inevitability is sinking in as the Cubs approach June buried in the standings and looking at another July roster purge that could involve everyone from the starting pitcher to the starting outfield in the 7-4 loss Friday to the Cincinnati Reds.

“You’re running up on a couple months away now,” manager Dale Sveum said of the trade deadline July 31. “So you’re trying to put things together where you pull off some streaks and winning months and winning weeks to give yourself a chance to give yourself hope.

“But we all know that if we don’t, there can be changes.”

Scott Feldman suffered his first loss in more than a month — he allowed five runs in the fourth inning — as the Cubs’ lost their fifth in a row.

The five runs in the fourth, with four coming on home runs by Joey Votto and Ryan Hanigan, equaled Feldman’s total allowed in his previous five starts combined.

He was 4-0 with a 1.27 ERA in those five starts and was thought by some analysts to be the top starting pitcher considered available in the trade market.

Until a lost home series against the moribund New York Mets last weekend and a wrong-way sweep in Pittsburgh, players routinely talked about getting back to .500, making an extended run and forcing the front office to consider adding instead of selling.

But it’s quickly starting to look like Feldman, closer Kevin Gregg, center fielder David DeJesus and possibly pitchers Matt Garza and even James Russell could be on the brink of being shopped.

Fifty-eight games remain before the deadline, including 36 against teams with winning records — and 21 against teams that entered Friday in first place or tied for first.

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