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Cubs eliminated from NL Central contention after the Cardinals rally in the 9th for a 3-2 victory and a 4-game sweep at Wrigley Field

Mark Gonzales, Chicago Tribune on

Published in Baseball

CHICAGO -- The balance of Kris Bryant's 2019 season could be in question after the Cubs third baseman suffered a right ankle sprain Sunday while unsuccessfully trying to avoid a double play in the third inning.

As for the Cubs, their declining chances of earning a playoff berth virtually vanished as quickly as the Cardinals' two-run rally off Yu Darvish in the ninth inning that produced a 3-2 victory and officially eliminated the Cubs from catching the Cardinals in the National League Central.

With their season-tying sixth consecutive loss that dropped them seven games behind the Cardinals (89-67), the Cubs (82-74) fell four games behind the Nationals (85-69) and Brewers (86-70) for the two NL wild-card berths with six game remaining.

They also could be without Bryant for the rest of the season. Bryant, who has played with a sore right knee for the last three months, slipped on the outside part of the first-base bag and tumbled.

After laying on the ground for several minutes, Bryant walked off slowly with the help of a member of the medical staff and teammate Anthony Rizzo.

Preliminary X-rays taken at Wrigley Field were negative.

The agony was spread among his teammates and a crowd of 38,606 in the Wrigley Field season finale. The Cubs won 51 games at home but lost their final six games -- including the final five by one run.

 

Sunday's loss, played under damp conditions, left a large majority of the fans with a miserable feeling after Darvish limited the Cardinals to four hits on 96 pitches entering the ninth.

But pinch-hitter Jose Martinez hit a triple off the outstretched glove of center fielder Albert Almora Jr. Dexter Fowler tied the game on a sacrifice fly.

Tommy Edman lined a single to right. After not getting a strike call on the low, outside corner on a 1-2 pitch, Darvish allowed a tie-breaking double to Paul Goldschmidt.

(c)2019 Chicago Tribune

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