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Maddon: Davis not to be blamed for defeat

Closer's streak of consecutive saves ends at 38 with first blown chance as Cub
MLB.com @CarrieMuskat

MILWAUKEE -- Do not blame Wade Davis, Cubs manager Joe Maddon said emphatically after the closer blew his first save in more than a year, which resulted in a loss on Saturday to the Brewers.

Davis served up two home runs -- only the second time he's ever done that as a reliever and the second time this year -- in the Cubs' 4-3 loss to the Brewers in front of a sellout crowd of 44,067 at Miller Park. Orlando Arcia hit a game-tying homer leading off the Milwaukee ninth and Travis Shaw connected on a two-run shot with one out in the 10th for the walk-off win.

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MILWAUKEE -- Do not blame Wade Davis, Cubs manager Joe Maddon said emphatically after the closer blew his first save in more than a year, which resulted in a loss on Saturday to the Brewers.

Davis served up two home runs -- only the second time he's ever done that as a reliever and the second time this year -- in the Cubs' 4-3 loss to the Brewers in front of a sellout crowd of 44,067 at Miller Park. Orlando Arcia hit a game-tying homer leading off the Milwaukee ninth and Travis Shaw connected on a two-run shot with one out in the 10th for the walk-off win.

Full Game Coverage

"He's your best guy," Maddon said of Davis. "There's no second-guessing whatsoever. He was fine to go back out there [for the 10th]. He strikes out [Neil] Walker, who's one of their hottest hitters, and looked good, and [Ryan] Braun keeps the ball fair [for a double] and Shaw hit a hanging breaking ball. There's nothing to lament about Wade right there. He's been outstanding."

Take a moment to breathe, Cubs fans. It's been an intense, exhausting series, and this was the third straight extra-inning game.

"There's no difference between these three games and the games that will occur next month," said Maddon, whose team has yet to secure a postseason berth, maintaining at least a 4 1/2-game lead over the Cardinals in the National League Central.

Davis was a perfect 32-for-32 in save chances this season, and he had converted 38 straight since blowing a save Sept. 2, 2016, when he was with the Royals. Had he thought about the streak?

"Not much," Davis said. "Obviously, I wanted to win today's game and put us in a better position [in the standings] than we were [before the game]. That kind of stinks. Move on from it."

"He's been outstanding," Cubs reliever Justin Wilson said of Davis. "He's great -- great teammate, great pitcher. He's done everything we've asked of him."

OK, so what happened against Arcia?

"I wanted to get it in more and, obviously, I didn't," Davis said. "He put a pretty good swing on it."

And Shaw?

"Hanging curveball," Davis said. "I was trying to bounce it there and didn't get it there."

Video: CHC@MIL: Shaw belts a walk-off two-run homer in 10th

"I know he'd like to have the pitch back to Arcia," Maddon said. "That's the one that really hurt. That particular pitch was the only pitch [Arcia] could've hit out."

Video: CHC@MIL: Arcia crushes a game-tying solo homer in 9th

Davis has been the anchor of the Cubs' bullpen, which has been short-handed lately because of innings and minor injuries.

"He's such a good, calming influence out there," Maddon said of the right-hander, whom he has known since their days together in Tampa Bay. "I see him sit with guys in front of video all the time. Guys talk to me, this about Wade, that about Wade -- really complimentary things. He's made a tremendous impact on us."

And if Davis had maintained his perfect save-completion streak, Maddon would've been OK with that, too.

"For me, I'll take 50 in a row without blowing one," Maddon said.

The Cubs wasted a solid outing by starter Kyle Hendricks, who threw a season-high 112 pitches over six innings. Wilson followed Hendricks with an encouraging 1 1/3 innings. If the Cubs hadn't scored in the 10th, taking a 3-2 lead on Jon Jay's RBI single, Hector Rondon would've replaced Davis.

"It was a pretty easy equation," Maddon said.

"[Davis] had been perfect for them all year in save chances, so you know it's really rare to have a chance to score any runs off of him," Braun said. "For us, it was a must-win game. A game that keeps us alive. And just a lot of fun -- they have been phenomenal baseball games all the way around."

"We 100-percent won that game today," Davis said. "Offense and everything was incredible, coming back twice. That's definitely on me."

"They beat us," Maddon said. "You move on to the next day. But do not point a finger at Wade."

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Chicago Cubs, Wade Davis