No cold comeback for the Cubs this time in a loss to the Cardinals

The Chicago Cubs' Kyle Schwarber at bat during the third inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Wrigley Field in Chicago on Tuesday, April 17, 2018. (Nuccio DiNuzzo/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images)

CHICAGO – Call it a freezing flair for the dramatic, but it looked like Saturday all over again on Tuesday.

On a frigid night where Spring turned back the clock to Winter, the Cubs looked like they were in position for another fiery finish in both the eighth and ninth inning. A Cardinals lead of four was cut to two, and opportunities where there to rally as they did three days earlier in a frigid, wind-driven drizzle soaked 14-10 win over the Braves.

Yet lightning didn’t strike twice for the Cubs in as many games – or maybe a heater if you want to keep in the spirit of the freezing temperatures. The clutch hits present during the Atlanta win were absent in a 5-3 St. Louis victory on Wednesday night.

Down 5-1 in the top of the eighth, the Cubs appeared ready to mount a rally when Javier Baez slammed his fifth round tripper of the homestand – a two run blast – that cut the lead in half with no outs in the inning. But two Cardinals relievers – Tyler Lyons then Bud Norris – finished off that inning with three-straight outs to maintain the lead.

Norris got the first two outs in the ninth before giving up a hit to Willson Contreras, sending Kyle Schwarber to the plate with a chance to tie. But the outfielder, who drove in a pair of runs on Saturday with walks, struck out to end the game as the Cubs record falls to 7-8 on the season along with 2-4 on the homestand.

Going with the theme of the first series at Wrigley Field, the Cubs found themselves playing from behind most of the contest. Tyler Chatwood once again mixed a bit of brilliance with some inconsistency, striking out seven batters yet surrendering seven walks in 4 2/3 innings.

Two of those base-on-balls to start the third led to the only runs against the pitcher all night. Matt Carpenter doubled in Dexter Fowler to put St. Louis up 1-0, then Marcell Ozuna’s ground out brought home Tommy Pham to make it 2-0. Jason Heyward cut the lead in half with an RBI single in the fourth.

The Cardinals built up their lead in the eighth in a rough frame for reliever Pedro Stop. Paul DeJong started it with a solo shot to left field, then two infield singles and a walk loaded the bases as the reliever was pulled for Brian Duensing. Carpenter promptly singled in two more runs to make it a four-run deficit.

Hope was built by the Cubs the next two innings, but the finish of three days earlier was lacking, leaving fans with a bitter chill to swallow on another wintry night at Wrigley.