By Bruce Levine–

CHICAGO (CBS) — The shocking loss of a series is something quite rare for the Chicago Cubs. That’s what happened Tuesday after coming a run short to the Cardinals once again, losing 4-3 at Wrigley Field.

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After losing two straight games for only the third time in 2016, the Cubs moved to 4-19 when scoring fewer than four runs in a game this season.

The Cubs have now lost just five series all season. They will try to stave off getting swept for the first time in 2016 on Wednesday afternoon in the series finale.

“We played on both sides,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “It was somewhat like Groundhog Day. It was the same game as last night. We just could not get a hit when we needed to. I will say it again, if we keep playing that game, I will be very, very pleased. That is a good game of baseball. That is how you become a consistent winner.”

The Cubs fell to 9-11 in one-run games. That number, for the most part, has been meaningless with the way they have drubbed the competition all season.

On Tuesday night, the Cubs failed to convert on chances that Cardinals veteran right-hander Adam Wainwright gave them. Chicago was 0-of-9 with runners in scoring position.

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“It is wonderful that people are shocked (when we lose), ” Maddon said.” That is how a season will roll. It will happen again. I have no complaints about the last two nights — zero. We played well, we played good baseball. If you’re a baseball fan, you saw good baseball (Monday), you saw good baseball tonight. They scored one more run than we did. Give them credit.”

The Cubs have lost two straight at home for only the second time this year and the first time in consecutive days. The only other occurrence came during a doubleheader loss to the Padres on May 11.

“Obviously, you never want to lose a series,” Cubs starter Jason Hammel said after taking his third loss of the season.” These were two hard-fought games. I will speak for everyone in there, we have to win those games. When it comes down to crunch time at the end of a year, those are the type of games you will be looking at. I am disappointed. Let’s go get one tomorrow and move on.”

The Cubs still have a 10.5-game lead over the Cardinals for first place in the NL Central. They’re an amazing 21-8 in division play. The season series between the two clubs is knotted up at four wins a piece.

Reigning National League Cy Young winner Jake Arrieta takes the hill for the Cubs in Wednesday’s series finale.

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Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score and CBSChicago.com. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine.