CHICAGO Teams

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Bradford Doolittle ESPN Staff Writer 

Just one of those things, Cubs starter Jake Arrieta says of his bullpen's struggles on Friday. His own outing was very crisp.

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Bradford Doolittle ESPN Staff Writer 

Just one of those days, says Joe Maddon, who thought other than the poorly pitched eighth inning, his club played another solid game.

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Cardinals feast in 8th inning vs. Cubs (1:53)

Bradford Doolittle ESPN Staff Writer 

The Cubs' torrid second-half start came to a grinding halt on Friday. In the eighth inning, to be exact. Three relievers combined to put the first 11 Cardinal hitters on in that inning as St. Louis rolled to an 11-4 win. The loss snaps Chicago's six-game winning streak and negates the possibility of the defending champs moving into a virtual tie with Milwaukee atop the NL Central. That would have been the case with a Cubs win and a Brewers loss in Philadelphia tonight.

Bradford Doolittle ESPN Staff Writer 

Mercifully, the top of the eighth has come to an end. The first 11 Cardinal hitters reached base as St. Louis plated nine runs and now lead 11-3. Carl Edwards Jr. (three runs), Hector Rondon (four) and Justin Grimm (two) all contributed to the carnage. Six hits and six walks in the inning for the St. Louis. That was ugly.

Bradford Doolittle ESPN Staff Writer 

The Cubs' winning streak may have just blown up in the eighth inning. After Carl Edwards faces three hitters without recording an out, Hector Rondon does him one better -- four hitters faced, zero outs. The Cardinals have four runs, three hits and four walks in the inning. Justin Grimm is on to face Carson Kelly, who will be the third St. Louis batter of the inning to step to the plate with the bases loaded and no one out. It's 6-3 St. Louis.

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Contreras starts off with a 2-run homer (0:31)

Ian Begley ESPN Staff Writer 

In addition to the Knicks, Spurs, Heat and Timberwolves, Kyrie Irving also considered the Chicago Bulls as a potential trade destination before the club traded Jimmy Butler, per Cavs sources.

Bradford Doolittle ESPN Staff Writer 

Over his last seven outings, Cubs reliever Carl Edwards Jur. had pitched 6 2/3 scoreless innings with 12 strikeouts. Today he faces three batters -- a Matt Carpenter double, and walks to Tommy Pham and Dexter Fowler -- and leaves the bases loaded with nobody out. Hector Rondon is on to face Jedd Gyorko. Cubs are clinging to a 3-2 lead.

Bradford Doolittle ESPN Staff Writer 

The Cubs' string of strong starts was continued today by Jake Arrieta. In six innings, he allowed two runs and five hits with six strikeouts and zero walks. This marks just the third start without a walk for Arrieta going back to the beginning of last season.

Bradford Doolittle ESPN Staff Writer 

Jason Heyward is batting leadoff for the Cubs for the first time all season. That last time he started off in the top spot was June 25 of last season. Before the game, Chicago manager Joe Maddon said that Kris Bryant's absence played into his decision to bat Heyward first.

Bradford Doolittle ESPN Staff Writer 

The Cubs break on top of the Cardinals early thanks to Willson Contrera's two-run shot into the left-field bleachers off of Carlos Martinez in the first. Martinez is slumping. His 16 homers allowed this year are a career high and he's allowed 14 earned runs in 18 innings so far in July, per ESPN Stats & Info.

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Bradford Doolittle ESPN Staff Writer 

Did the breather that comes with the All-Star break help the surging Cubs hit the reset button? Maybe, maybe not. But Joe Maddon loves the way his team has played over the last week.

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Bradford Doolittle ESPN Staff Writer 

Kris Bryant is not in the lineup today for the Cubs and remains day to day. Here is manager Joe Maddon giving an update on the MVP.

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Kap's Cubs Corner: Mark Prior

Former Cubs pitcher Mark Prior joins David Kaplan. He discusses his time with the Cubs, working with the Padres, and watching the Cubs win the World Series.

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Smith doesn't regret playing in Fiesta Bowl (1:21)