Cubs move a step closer to playoff elimination, losing 4-3 to Brewers in 10 innings

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Published: Sep. 29, 2023 at 10:50 PM CDT
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MILWAUKEE (AP) — The Chicago Cubs were pushed to the brink of playoff elimination by the NL Central champion Milwaukee Brewers, who won 4-3 Friday night on Carlos Santana’s run-scoring double in the 10th inning.

Chicago lost its fourth straight and fell 1 1/2 games behind Miami, which beat Pittsburgh, for the NL’s third and final wild-card spot. The Marlins hold the tiebreaker over the Cubs.

Chicago seemed well on its way to earning a playoff berth less than three weeks ago when it owned a 78-67 record, but the Cubs have gone 4-11 since.

Jeimer Candelario homered in the eighth and Ian Happ went deep in the ninth as Chicago rallied after trailing 3-0 through seven innings.

But the Cubs couldn’t close the deal.

Caleb Boushley (1-0), a Wisconsin native making his major league debut, struck out Patrick Wisdom with the bases loaded in the top of the 10th. Boushley had allowed the tying homer to Happ in the ninth.

Santana led off the bottom of the 10th with a double off José Cuas (3-2) that brought home automatic runner Blake Perkins.

In the fifth, the 37-year-old Santana hit his first triple since 2019, driving in two runs against Kyle Hendricks.

The Brewers were resting their top pitchers as they prepare for the postseason. That’s why Colin Rea was starting instead of Brandon Woodruff, who is expected to pitch Game 2 of Milwaukee’s wild-card series on Wednesday.

Rea threw five scoreless innings as the Brewers built a 3-0 lead. But the Cubs had more success against the Milwaukee bullpen.

Candelario homered and Christopher Morel tripled and scored off Clayton Andrews in the eighth. Andrews, who entered the night with a 43.20 ERA in three appearances, worked a scoreless seventh but struggled in his second inning of work. His ERA is now 27.00.

Happ tied the game with a 417-foot drive over the wall in right-center.


Nico Hoerner fouled a ball off his left knee in the sixth inning and left the game an inning later. The Cubs said he had a bruise.

Cubs RHP Adbert Alzolay (forearm strain) was activated from the injured list. He hadn’t pitched since Sept. 9. The Cubs optioned RHP Keegan Thompson to their spring facility in Arizona.


LHP Jordan Wicks (4-1, 3.00 ERA) pitches for the Cubs on Saturday. The Brewers hadn’t named a starter.