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Diamondbacks Spoil Cubs’ Birthday Bash

Baseball fans wait to enter Wrigley Field on the 100th anniversary of the first baseball game at the ballpark, before a game between the Arizona Diamondbacks and Chicago Cubs, Wednesday, April 23, 2014, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Baseball fans wait to enter Wrigley Field on the 100th anniversary of the first baseball game at the ballpark, before a game between the Arizona Diamondbacks and Chicago Cubs, Wednesday, April 23, 2014, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Chicago — Fittingly, the Chicago Cubs marked Wrigley Field’s 100th birthday with a loss — a dramatic, error-filled one, at that.

One out from victory, the Cubs allowed the Arizona Diamondbacks to rally for five runs in the ninth inning in a 7-5 loss Wednesday.

After an error by shortstop Starlin Castro, Martin Prado hit a two-run single off Pedro Strop (0-2), Miguel Montero had a tying single against James Russell and Aaron Hill followed with a two-run triple off Justin Grimm.

Still, the Cubs are 4,076-3,621 (.530) during the regular season at Wrigley, according to STATS, and 7-20 in the postseason. Chicago failed in its bid to win three straight games for the first time since last July 26-28.

The beloved ballpark, the second-oldest in the major leagues behind 102-year-old Fenway Park in Boston, opened on April 23, 1914, when the Federal League’s Chicago Federals beat the Kansas City Packers 9-1.

The Cubs moved into the Friendly Confines in 1916, after the Federal League folded, and have established a tradition of beloved losers. The Cubs’ only World Series titles came in 1907 and ‘08, when they played at the West Side Grounds, and they haven’t even reached the World Series since 1945.

Fans sang Happy Birthday in the middle of the fifth inning, the Cubs wore Federals’ uniforms and the Diamondbacks wore Kansas City Packers’ threads.

Trevor Cahill (1-3) pitched two scoreless innings, for Arizona, which ended a four-game losing streak, and Addison Reed got his fourth save as the Cubs went quietly in a 1-2-3 ninth.

Before a crowd of 32,323 — about 9,000 under capacity, the Cubs led 5-2 in the ninth. Strop walked Chris Owings on four pitches and Castro allowed Tony Campana’s grounder to kick off his glove for an error. Castro tried to keep his left leg on second as he retrieved the ball, and second base umpire Brian O’Nora called the sliding Owings safe — a decision confirmed by the replay umpire in New York.

Braves 3, Marlins 1

Atlanta — Pinch-hitter Evan Gattis broke an eighth-inning tie with a two-run double off A.J. Ramos, and the Braves beat Miami for their ninth win in 12 games.

Aaron Harang allowed one run and six hits in six innings with 11 strikeouts and one walk, raising his ERA from 0.70 to 0.85.

Giants 12, Rockies 10 (11)

Denver — Hector Sanchez hit two of San Francisco’s six homers, including a grand slam in the 11th inning that gave the Giants a wild victory over Colorado.

Reds 5, Pirates 2

Pittsburgh — Alfredo Simon pitched into the seventh inning despite erratic control, Jay Bruce drove in a run for a fifth consecutive game and Cincinnati beat Pittsburgh.

Mets 3, Cardinals 2

New York — Lucas Duda hit a long home run and the Mets threw out the potential tying run at the plate in the ninth inning to hold off St. Louis with a stiff wind whipping through Citi Field.

American League

Rangers 3, Athletics 0

Oakland, Calif. — Martin Perez pitched his second consecutive shutout to extend his scoreless innings streak to 26 and Texas wrapped up a three-game sweep of Oakland.

Mariners 5, Astros 3

Seattle — Kyle Seager hit a three-run homer with one out in the bottom of the ninth and Seattle rallied for a win over Houston to snap an eight-game losing streak.

Orioles 10, Blue Jays 8

Toronto — Nelson Cruz hit two of Baltimore’s season-high four home runs, Chris Davis and Matt Wieters also connected and the Orioles beat Toronto.

Indians 5, Royals 3

Cleveland — Jason Kipnis drove in Nick Swisher with a two-out double in the seventh inning, sending Cleveland over Kansas City.

White Sox 6, Tigers 4

Detroit — Marcus Semien’s seventh-inning grand slam lifted Chicago over Detroit.

Interleague

Nationals 5, Angels 4

Washington — Adam LaRoche’s tiebreaking RBI single off the first pitch from Fernando Salas capped a four-run rally in the bottom of the ninth inning, and Washington came back to beat Los Angeles to avoid a sweep.

Notes

Selig: Clarification Coming on Ball Transfers

Chicago — Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig said the sport’s playing rules committee is working to clarify the rule on transfers by fielders on forceouts, which has caused some controversy in the first season of expanded instant replay for umpires.

Attending a game at Wrigley Field on Wednesday marking the 100th anniversary of the ballpark, Selig said he has not spoken with committee chairman Sandy Alderson, the New York Mets general manager.

Selig expects to hear back about clarifying the rule, adding “given the fact it’s new, yes, we’ve had a little glitch here and there, but not much, and nothing that really affected a game,” Selig added.

With instant replay, there has been increased scrutiny on when fielders have control of throws as they step on bases for forceouts and then transfer the ball to their hands for throws in attempts to turn double plays.

“I think it’s done great,” Selig said. “I don’t think it’s been a can of worms at all. In fact, I think for something new, it’s been unbelievably good.”