There were the four double plays, one in every inning from the fifth to the eighth. Mix in a wild pitch, an error, and a shaky outing from a usually reliable reliever, and that was enough.
At the plate and in the field, the Cubs just plain sputtered when they had to make a play on Wednesday in Chicago.
Anthony Rizzo had three hits and Nate Schierholtz doubled home a pair of runs, but the Cubs blew a late one-run lead in a 5-4 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals.
Carlos Beltran had three hits and two RBIs as St. Louis won for the seventh time in eight games and improved to a major league-best 14-7 on the road.
The Cardinals trailed 4-3 before Beltran singled in Matt Carpenter in the seventh, and Jon Jay drove in Yadier Molina with a tiebreaking single against Michael Bowden (1-2) in the eighth.
Cody Ransom had two hits and Luis Valbuena scored two runs for Chicago, trying for its second three-game winning streak this season. Instead, the Cubs finished a 4-6 homestand.
Beltran’s tying single on a 3-2 pitch was the first run allowed all season by left-hander James Russell, who began the year with 13 scoreless innings over 17 appearances.
The Cubs had 11 hits, but were hurt by all the double plays. The last one was particularly heartbreaking, with the potential tying run on third.
Four Cardinals relievers combined for 3 2/3 innings of two-hit ball after Jake Westbrook had his worst start this season. Seth Maness (2-0) got five outs to get the win, and Edward Mujica worked the ninth for his ninth save in nine opportunities.
White Sox 6, Mets 3: Jake Peavy pitched three-hit ball in his return from a balky back, and Alejandro De Aza had a leadoff homer for a two-game interleague series split in New York.
Alex Rios homered among his three hits and knocked in two runs for the White Sox. Conor Gillaspie blooped a two-run double off Jeremy Hefner (0-4).
Rios also had an RBI double, and Paul Konerko a run-scoring single for the last-place White Sox.
Peavy (4-1) got some prime help on defense from shortstop Alexei Ramirez and center fielder Dewayne Wise.