Game Thirteen – Cubs 0 Reds 3
WP – Johnny Cueto (1-1) LP – Ted Lilly (2-1) Save – Francisco Cordero (6)
The Cubs three-game winning streak came to end on Wednesday night after they were shutout for the first time on the young season. Johnny Cueto earned his first win while Ted Lilly committed two errors, one led to the only run he gave up in his seven innings of work.
The Reds tacked on a pair of runs in the eighth and ninth innings. Joey Votto delivered a 2-out RBI double in the eighth that plated Jerry Hairston, Jr. off of Angel Guzman…and Jay Bruce hit his second home run of the series off Kevin Gregg in the ninth.
The Cubs offense could not get on track against Johnny Cueto. They let him off the hook early and could not string together any hits. Cueto struck out three and allowed only four hits in seven innings.
Milton Bradley made his return to the starting lineup for the first time in 10 days. Bradley had a bad night at the plate, 0-for-4 with three strikeouts and three left on base.
For the first time this season, the Cubs did not work a single walk in the game. The typically patient offense got ahead in the count seemingly all night but could not work a free pass against Cueto.
It is not often a starting pitcher takes a loss and his ERA drops in the same game, but the wind helped keep the ball in the park and Ted Lilly did not give up an earned run on the night. He struck two and did not walk a batter while surrendering only five hits…and two of them were bunt singles.
Wednesday night was just one of the sixty that all big league teams lose during the season. Six hits and no walks with no hits from the lower half of a lineup usually equals a loss…and that is exactly what happened at Wrigley on Wednesday, the Cubs fifth defeat of the year.
Alex Gonzalez reached on a one-out bunt single in the third inning. Ted Lilly stopped the ball but his throw was wide of first and Gonzalez ended up at second on the error. Johnny Cueto followed and his sacrifice bunt attempt turned into a hit. Cueto reached and Gonzalez advanced to third.
Willy Taveras followed with a sacrifice fly into left center that plated Gonzalez with the Reds lone run off of Ted Lilly.
The Reds evened the series at a game apiece with the finale on Thursday afternoon. Carlos Zambrano will face Aaron Harang.