CHICAGO — The Atlanta Braves hadn't lost in a while. The Chicago Cubs hadn't won in a while.
At least for one day at Wrigley Field, the roles were suddenly, surprisingly reversed.
The Cubs became the first MLB team in 23 years to stop a losing streak of 10 or more games while ending an opponent's winning streak of at least 10 games, beating the Braves 1-0 on Friday to halt the reigning World Series champions' 14-game run.
Rookie center fielder Christoper Morel hit a sacrifice fly in the eighth inning, helping Chicago snap a 10-game skid that was the club's longest since 12 straight losses from Aug. 5-16, 2021.
Atlanta's 14 consecutive victories were its most since winning 15 in a row from April 16 to May 2, 2000, which set the franchise's post-1900 record.
Morel drove in the game's only run against reliever A.J Minter after striking out in his first three at-bats, then getting some advice from catcher Willson Contreras.
"It helped me concentrate on what I needed to do, what to focus on with that tough lefty," Morel said. "Willson talked to me and told me, "Don't look for stuff low around the plate. Look high.'"
A pair of double-digit streaks had not ended in the same game since Philadelphia beat Houston on Sept. 15, 1999, ending the Phillies' skid at 11 and the Astros' winning streak at 12.
Chicago had not won 1-0 since May 28, 2021, against the Cincinnati Reds. The Braves lost 1-0 for the second time this year, with the first also a road defeat, May 16 against the Milwaukee Brewers.
Minter (2-1) walked pinch-hitter Jonathan Villar leading off the eighth. Villar advanced to second base on Andrelton Simmons' sacrifice, stole third without a throw on Minter's 2-1 pitch in the dirt to Morel, then scored on Morel's 277-foot fly to center with a steady wind blowing in.
Villar slid home headfirst as rookie center fielder Michael Harris II's throw was slightly up the first-base line.
With Chicago wearing unusual dark blue pants and jerseys with light blue letters, former Atlanta reliever Chris Martin (1-0) pitched a perfect eighth for his first win with the Cubs.
Atlanta loaded the bases against David Robertson in the ninth on two walks and a hit batter before Orlando Arcia grounded out. Robertson got his eighth save in 10 chances this season, completing a two-hitter on a day both teams combined for just five hits.
Atlanta starter Charlie Morton struck out nine batters, walked none and allowed three hits.
It was Atlanta's first defeat since May 31 against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Phoenix.
"The first loss in June is good when you're in the middle of the month," said Braves first baseman Matt Olson, who struck one of four deep flies that may have been held in by wind.
Said Atlanta manager Brian Snitker of his homer-prone lineup: "Our game is to get the ball in the air, and we kind of got beat back here today."
Cubs starter Keegan Thompson, coming off poor outings against the Baltimore Orioles and the New York Yankees, struck out a career-high nine batters while allowing two hits and two walks in six-plus scoreless innings — the 27-year-old's longest outing in the majors.
"I think there was a conscious effort for us today to throw more fastballs," Thompson said. "I haven't had a lot of damage done so far off the fastball this year, and I had kind of gotten away from the four-seam fastball the last two outings."
Arcia got a strange double in the fifth, when his shallow pop down the right-field line dropped just fair. Jason Heyward, a five-time Gold Glove winner who began his pro career with the Braves, slipped and fell on his backside about 10 feet short of the ball.
Mychal Givens struck out Arcia with two on to end the seventh.
Contreras narrowly missed a homer on a drive off the left-center wall with two outs in the sixth. Left fielder Adam Duvall played the ball perfectly and held him to a single.
Atlanta right-handed reliever Collin McHugh, placed on the COVID-19 injured list on June 7, rejoined the team Friday.
The three-game series continues Saturday, when the probable starters are Atlanta right-hander Kyle Wright (7-3, 2.57) and Cubs left-hander Justin Steele (1-5, 4.33).