CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Cubs were feeling hopeful even after their five-game winning streak ended Sunday.
"(We) just forget about this one and bounce back tomorrow because we cannot be perfect," reliever Pedro Strop said. "We gave our best and it didn't work, but (we) just bounce back tomorrow."
Strop and Brian Schlitter would rather forget this loss, for sure. They allowed two runs each in the Cubs' 4-3 defeat to the Miami Marlins.
They Cubs had won five straight for the first time since May last season, and their bullpen had a 2.01 ERA in its last 24 games.
"These guys should keep their heads up," Cubs manager Rick Renteria said. "They're very disappointed right now because we felt like we were on the cusp to have a perfect homestand."
The Cubs fell short of their first six-game winning streak since winning seven straight from July 31-Aug. 6, 2011.
Strop hit Giancarlo Stanton with a pitch in the eighth inning then threw a wild pitch that allowed the Miami slugger to score the go-ahead run.
Trailing 3-2 after Luis Valbuena walked with the bases loaded in the seventh, the Marlins scored twice off Strop (0-3) in the eighth.
Garrett Jones' sacrifice fly to left tied it. Then Stanton scored on a wild pitch to give Miami its first lead of the day.
"It's done really, really well," Renteria said about his bullpen. "Today was a hiccup."
Cubs closer Hector Rondon and setup man Neil Ramirez were unavailable to pitch.
Steve Cishek pitched a scoreless ninth for his 14th save in 15 tries, helping Miami avoid the sweep. Mike Dunn (5-3) got two outs for the win.
But Miami's victory was overshadowed by the loss of starter Henderson Alvarez, who left the game in the sixth inning because of a left hip injury. He said he felt good after the game. Alvarez entered the day
having thrown 21 consecutive scoreless innings.
"He seems to be OK," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. "He's got enough time in between starts. He should be fine. Obviously, we'll know better tomorrow or the next couple of days."
With one out in the sixth inning of a scoreless tie, Valbuena grounded to Jones at first. Jones' toss to first was high. Alvarez reached to tap the base with his right foot but missed and landed awkwardly,
straining his left hip.
After being attended to by the Miami training staff and Redmond, Alvarez threw one warmup pitch to see if he could continue but quickly left the mound. Left-hander Dan Jennings then entered.