Cubs Observations: Royals sweep, home losing streak hits record 13

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Observations: Cubs set record for longest home losing streak originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

The 29,640 fans in attendance had thinned out when Austin Romine flew out to center field in the ninth inning.

The Cubs set a new franchise record Sunday for their longest home losing streak with a 9-1, sweep-clinching loss to the Royals.

Here are 10 observations from the game.

1. The Cubs’ home losing streak hit 13 games, a new franchise record. They tied the 1994 Cubs for the longest home skid in team history with Saturday’s loss.

"Obviously losing is not fun," said Alec Mills, Sunday's starter. "There's really no other way to put it. We're all coming to the ballpark every day wanting to win.

"We're all here putting in the work, doing the best we can and trying to put our best foot forward and win some ballgames."

2. Only Matt Duffy and Patrick Wisdom were in the starting lineup both Sunday and July 26 — the Cubs’ last home win. The July 26 lineup featured Willson Contreras and Nico Hoerner (injured list), Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo and Jake Marisnick (traded), and David Bote (day off). Javy Báez delivered a pinch-hit walk-off single that day.

3. Mills got hit hard in his second career start against his former club. The Royals tagged him for seven runs (six earned) on 11 hits, all season highs for the right-hander, in four innings.

"My main goal is to keep us in the game and give us some length," Mills said. "I really did not do either of those today."

4. Mills’ 12-start streak of allowing three or fewer earned runs and two or fewer walks ended with Sunday’s outing. It was the longest such streak in Cubs history since Hippo Vaughn (13) in 1919.

5. With two on and nobody out in the fifth, Rafael Ortega nearly started a triple play with a sliding grab in center field. He juggled the ball — although it was unclear whether it hit the ground. The Cubs couldn’t challenge after unsuccessfully doing so in the third. The umpires huddled and upheld the no-catch call.

"Nobody got a great look," Cubs manager David Ross said. "I think the umpires were in a tough spot there as well. I don't think anybody had a good look other than who was on the other side [in right field].

"He said he caught it. I trust the player and how it goes down. Obviously it's extremely difficult. We were out of challenges."

6. Wednesday’s spot starter Adrian Sampson came on in the seventh, working around back-to-back singles in a scoreless frame. He called the Cubs’ current situation “Game of Thrones-esque” after Wednesday’s start.

7. The Cubs have given up exactly three times as many runs as they have scored during the 13-game home losing streak. Including Sunday, opponents have outscored them 99-33.

8. Every position player in Kansas City's starting lineup had multiple hits — except Salvador Pérez, the All-Star catcher who hit two home runs to pace their offense Friday.

9. Ian Happ scored a double on a fly ball that dropped between Royals outfielders Michael A. Taylor and Hunter Dozier in the fourth. He finished 1-for-3, the eighth time in his last 10 games he has hit safely. Happ is batting .303 (10-for-33) in that stretch.

10. Old friend and former Cubs All-Star closer Wade Davis pitched a scoreless ninth inning for Kansas City.

On deck: First pitch Monday is 7:05 p.m. as the Cubs and Rockies open a three-game series at Wrigley Field. Kyle Hendricks (14-5, 4.04 ERA) and Antonio Senzatela (2-9, 4.58 ERA) are the probable starters.

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