Chicago Cubs second baseman Darwin Barney committed a rare error Friday night but first baseman Anthony Rizzo took the blame.
"It hit off my glove," Rizzo said after the Cubs' 8-3 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks. "It's just one of those things that I think I should have."
Barney long ago had broken Cubs legend Ryne Sandberg's NL-record 123-game streak without an error at second base and was three outs from breaking Placido Polanco's major league record of 141 games.
With Aaron Hill on second, Justin Upton hit a grounder to the right of second base. Barney ranged deep into the hole, hopped off one foot and lofted a throw to first that went just wide of Rizzo's glove.
"That play up the middle was an incredible play," Rizzo said. "It was fearless and that is the type of player he is and the type of play he's done all year. That's why everyone was so upset."
Upton was credited with a single but Barney was charged with his first error since April 17 — a span of 1,154 1-3 innings, for allowing Hill to score.
"It has been fun," Barney said. "It had to end at some point. It's just how the game works and it's a funny game. This is why baseball is unbelievable."
Despite the streak, Barney never considered simply holding onto the ball with the speedy Upton racing down the line.
"I have to make that play," Barney said. "What was it, 5-3 at that time? We were in that ball game and my job is to make plays regardless of taking risks and I think I've done that this whole run. It's just how you play the game. You can't hold that ball right there."
Cubs manager Dale Sveum equated his feelings watching the streak end to the disappointment of being eliminated from the postseason.
"That is probably the sickest feeling I ever had in the game besides a couple of playoff losses knowing you are going home," Sveum said. "Wow, I can't believe it. There are some things you can't understand in this world and life, period, and that one is unbelievable. It was one heck of a run. He ought to hang his hat on that and be proud."
Justin Upton and Cody Ransom homered as the Diamondbacks snapped a two-game losing streak but still were eliminated from the NL wild card midway through the game when the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Washington Nationals 12-2.
Dave Sappelt homered, and Travis Wood (6-13) allowed five runs and five hits over five innings for the Cubs, who have lost six straight and 10 of 11. Wood struck out three and walked two in his second straight loss.
"A solo homer's OK but especially the two-run homer that Upton hit, that one hurt," Wood said. "That kind of put it out of reach and they kept tacking on after theat. If I could take that back, we were right there."
Chicago set a franchise record with its 57th loss away from Wrigley Field and is winless in road 17 games against the NL West.
"Our road record has been pretty awful," Sveum said. "With not very good teams, that's usually what happens. You wish you had the magic potion for that one but even the great teams struggle on the road. They don't struggle as bad but you know the road is going to be difficult."
Arizona starter Ian Kennedy (15-11) was uncharacteristically wild, walking six in 5 1/3 innings but held the Cubs to three runs and four hits. The right-hander struck out five.
Kennedy's six walks were his second-most in 109 career starts, trailing only a nine-walk outing on June 26, 2010 at Tampa Bay. It was also one more walk than he had issued in his four previous September starts combined.
Among Kennedy's walks were three to Alfonso Soriano and another to Barney with a pinch-hitter for Wood standing in the on-deck circle.
Kennedy became the fourth Diamondback to post consecutive 15-win seasons, joining Randy Johnson, Curt Schilling and Brandon Webb.
Aaron Hill and A.J. Pollock had RBI doubles, and Adam Eaton added a run-scoring single for Arizona.
Eaton doubled to lead off the game and Pollock followed with a double to right-center to give Arizona a 1-0 lead.
Ransom homered to left with one out in the fourth to make it 2-0.
Sappelt hit his second home run in four days, a two-out shot to left-center field, to tie the game 2-2 in the fifth but Hill drove home Kennedy and Upton followed with a towering two-out homer to left to put Arizona back in front 5-2.
Starlin Castro doubled home Soriano in the sixth for the Cubs' final run.