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Jon Lester good, but not good enough in Cubs' loss

CHICAGO -- Jon Lester was impressive in allowing just one run on four hits with 10 strikeouts in 7 1/3 innings on Sunday, but it wasn't enough for the Chicago Cubs left-hander to avoid his first loss of the season.

Nolan Arenado hit a pair of solo home runs to power the Colorado Rockies to a 2-0 victory over the Cubs in the rubber game of the three-game series at Wrigley Field.

Lester (1-1) was perhaps inches from not being scored on at all. Arenado's homer off him in the fourth inning was a high fly that just dropped into the basket in front of the new small scoreboard in left field. Jorge Soler had a beat on the ball and it appeared it would have dropped into his glove if not for the basket.

The baskets were originally installed to keep fans from falling onto the field from the bleachers, but the basket in that part of the bleachers serves no purpose because there are no fans there. The seating is above the scoreboard, about 10 feet above the basket.

Arenado provided an insurance run with another solo blast -- this one deep into the left-field bleachers -- off Justin Grimm in the top of the ninth.

On the downside, Lester still is having issues fielding and throwing to first base, but even that worked out for him -- sort of -- on Sunday.

Rockies center Brandon Barnes led off the eighth inning and hit a little dribbler in front of the mound. Lester pounced and quickly barehanded the ball. Although he had plenty of time to throw to first base, Lester rushed and spiked the ball into the ground.

Somehow, though, the ball reached first baseman Anthony Rizzo on two bounces and he caught the ball just before Barnes reached the bag for an out.

The play looked so awkward that the official scorer erroneously announced “E1” in the press box immediately afterward. But there was no error because Barnes was out.