Cubs collapse on Wrigley Field’s 100th birthday, fall to D-Backs
BY TONI GINNETTI Staff Reporter April 23, 2014 4:55PM
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Updated: April 23, 2014 7:06PM
The Chicago Federals couldn’t hold a ninth-inning lead Wednesday — just like the team they were disguised as.
It meant a sour ending for the 100th birthday celebration of Wrigley Field and the Cubs, who wore the uniforms of the team that started in the ballpark 100 years ago.
The visiting Arizona Diamondbacks — wearing the uniforms of the Kansas City Packers who were the Federals opponents 100 years ago — scored five runs in the ninth off relievers Pedro Strop (0-2) and James Russell, robbing starter Jeff Samardzija of his first victory of the season and extending his streak of winless starts to 11 after a 7-5 Cubs’ loss on Wednesday.
Samardzija last won on Aug. 24. He got five runs of support Wednesday and allowed only two runs on seven hits, keeping his ERA to a stingy 1.53.
But the Cubs bullpen blew its fourth save in six opportunities, despite a 5-2 lead going into the ninth.
The Cubs scored three in the fifth off Arizona starter Wade Miley--two of them unearned--and two in the sixth on Justin Ruggiano’s two-run homer.
But the ninth was trouble for Ruggiano as well. He slipped near the rightfield line attempting to catch Aaron Hill’s sinking fly ball and appeared to injure his left leg. He had to be helped off the field.
The ball fell for a two-RBI triple.
The loss ended a short two-game win streak for the Cubs while the Diamondbacks recorded only their sixth win of the season (6-18).
The day started more about the birthday party for the oldest remaining National League ball park, which is two years ``younger’’ than Boston’s Fenway Park of the American League.
Several of the Cubs living Hall of Fame players, heirs of first owner Charles Weeghman, commissioner Bud Selig, former Bears greats Dick Butkus and Gale Sayers---who played their football careers in Wrigley Field--were among the dignitaries taking part in pre-game ceremonies.