How it happened: Ryan Dempster's bad luck continued, as he left the game after seven strong innings with his fourth no-decision of the season. Dempster, who had the lowest ERA of any big league starter entering action Tuesday night, has not won a game since August 13, 2011. Dempster gave up his first earned run in three starts on Tuesday in the fourth inning. Braves right fielder Jason Heyward tripled and scored on Tyler Pasternicky's sacrifice fly. Alfonso Soriano's RBI double scored Tony Campana with the tying run in the sixth inning, sending Braves starter Randall Delgado to the showers. Soriano also made a running catch with two on in the fourth to keep the Braves from doing further damage. Kerry Wood surrendered two runs in the top of the eighth to take the loss. Wood walked two and allowed a two-run single to Dan Uggla.
What it means: The Cubs have one more attempt Wednesday to win their third straight series for the first time since last September. Coming into Tuesday’s game they had won nine of their last 15 games.
Outside the box: Team president Theo Epstein praised his manager and coaching staff before Tuesday night’s game. “I thought they had a top-notch spring training and they have been the model of consistency since opening day on,” Epstein said. “It was a pretty rough first couple of weeks and Dale handled it with a real calmness and confidence.” ... Cubs second baseman Adrian Cardenas made his first major league start. He could get more playing time due to Darwin Barney’s early season slump. ... Bryan LaHair reached base for the 26th consecutive game.
Up next: Lefty Paul Maholm (3-2, 5.13) closes out the series against Atlanta, opposing Braves righty Tim Hudson (1-0 6.55 ). Dempster will host his charity “Casino Night” on Wednesday evening at the Palmer House Hyatt.