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Cubs drop doubleheader vs. Mets, extending skid to nine

As the Cubs try to pull themselves out of their latest abyss, there are painful reminders that the smallest shortcomings can prove costly.

Such was the case during a 2-1, 11-inning loss Saturday to the Mets in the first game of a split doubleheader, and a 4-3 10-inning defeat in the second game extended their losing streak to nine games.

In the first game, Marcus Stroman and five relievers held the Mets to four hits, but the strong pitching was negated by a lack of clutch hitting and an inability to make contact in late-inning situations.

The worst example occurred in the 10th, when pinch runner Nelson Velazquez stole third base with no outs.