The high from Javier Baez's call-up must be wearing off for the Cubs now.
In Baez's fifth game in the majors, the Cubs failed to score, racking up just five hits in a 4-0 loss to the Rays in front of 36,739 fans at Wrigley Field Saturday.
The Cubs only managed four singles – including two from Starlin Castro - beyond Baez's sixth-inning double and did not draw a walk, striking out 15 times as a team.
The Cubs put together a mini-rally in the ninth with back-to-back two-out hits from Anthony Rizzo and Castro, but it was too little, too late as Luis Valbuena struck out to end the game (his fourth whiff of the day).
Rays starter Jake Odorizzi was stellar, striking out nine and allowing just the three hits in six innings. The Tampa Bay bullpen was even better with six strikeouts in three innings.
Struggling Cubs starter Edwin Jackson is in the midst of maybe his worst professional season, but he did pick up his second straight quality start, going six innings and allowing four runs (three earned). Jackson gave up five hits, walked three and worked around a Baez error and a couple of misplays from Justin Ruggiano in right field, but the Cubs offense couldn't muster up much support.
"Some tough breaks, but that's the game," Jackson said. "I just feel I have to do a better job of throwing strikes...
"As a starting pitcher, you have to overcome those things. Those kind of things are gonna happen. Every play isn't gonna be made. I think I just have to bear down."
Jackson lowered his ERA for a second straight start and has a 3.00 mark in two July starts. But he sits at 6-12 on the year, tied for second in the National League in losses the year after he led the league with 18 defeats.
"I thought he was throwing pretty well. He was pretty efficient," Cubs manager Rick Renteria said. "He was pretty composed. He kept us in the ballgame. It was one of his better outings in terms of commanding the zone, keeping his pitch efficiency down. We just really weren't able to get any off them today."