Extra Disappointing – Cubs 4, Reds 5

Game Eighteen – Cubs 4, Reds 5 – 13 innings

WP – Alfredo Simon (2-1) LP – Michael Bowden (0-1) Save – None

The first game of the season between the Cubs and Reds went to extra innings … and the Cubs ended up losing after the Reds scored three runs in the bottom of the 13th inning. The Reds tried to give the game away but the Cubs could not take advantage of two Reds’ errors in the tenth or two walks in the eleventh that loaded the bases.

The Cubs finally took the lead in the top of the 13th after the Reds’ third error of the game put Welington Castillo in scoring position. Luis Valbuena (2-for-6 with a home run and two RBI) launched his third longball of the season off Alfredo Simon and gave the Cubs a 4-2 lead.

Michael Bowden stayed in for his second inning of work. Xavier Paul singled to start the 13th. After Joey Votto flied out to deep left, Dave Sappelt played a blooper down the right field line off the bat of Brandon Phillips into a double. Jay Bruce tied the game with a double to the gap in right center. With Bruce at third and two outs, Cesar Izturis singled to left for the game winner.

Travis Wood put together his fourth excellent outing of the season and the Cubs’ tenth quality start of the year. Wood did not allow his third hit of the game until the seventh, a solo homer by Jay Bruce, and left with the Cubs clinging to a 2-1 lead and a runner on first base. After Shawn Camp balked the tying run into scoring position, James Russell gave up a triple to pinch hitter Jack Hannahan that tied the game at two.

Travis Wood was charged with two runs on four hits with two walks, a HBP and five strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings. Wood threw 88 pitches, 63 for strikes.

Carlos Marmol pitched two scoreless innings on Monday night. Marmol retired the side in order on 10 pitches in the ninth then pitched around two walks in the tenth, one intentional and one unintentional, without allowing the Reds to walk-off with a win. Marmol struck out Joey Votto swinging to end the tenth with runners on second and third.

The Cubs offense pounded out 11 hits on Monday night but only two walks and struck out a season-high 16 times. The Cubs had plenty of opportunities to keep Monday’s game from going into extra innings. The Cubs were a miserable 2-for-8 with runners in scoring position and left 12 runners on base.

David DeJesus (2-for-5 with a home run and two walks) led off the game with his third home run of the season and was on base four times Monday night. Starlin Castro (1-for-6) extended his hitting streak to 14 games with RBI single in the third and Nate Schierholtz (3-for-6) collected three more hits.

Anthony Rizzo (0-for-6 with three strikeouts) and Alfonso Soriano (0-for-6 with a strikeout) were a combined 0-for-12 with four strikeouts and left five runners on base.

The Cubs beat themselves once again and with Monday’s loss have now dropped seven of the last eight games.

David DeJesus led off the game with his third longball of the season. DeJesus pulled a 1-1 pitch from Mike Leake into the Cubs’ bullpen beyond the right field wall. The Cubs stayed aggressive and Castro, Rizzo and Soriano went down quickly in order to end the inning.

After Travis Wood set down the side in order in the first, the Cubs went down in order quickly in the second inning. Wood struck out two of the three batters he faced in the second. Wood needed 23 pitches, 18 for strikes, to complete two innings of work.

The Cubs added to their lead in the third, but it should have been more. Darwin Barney led off the inning with a single to center. Travis Wood bunted Barney to second base. Mike Leake jumped ahead of DeJesus 0-2. DeJesus worked the count back to even then looked ball four on a 3-2 pitch. Castro stepped in with runners on first and second with one down.

Starlin Castro drove a 2-2 pitch into right center. Barney scored and the Cubs took a 2-0 lead as Castro extended his hitting streak to 14 games. DeJesus advanced to third on the play. Anthony Rizzo was caught looking at a 1-2 pitch for the second out … and Alfonso Soriano flied out to center (3-2 pitch) to end the inning.

Travis Wood worked around a one-out single to Devin Mesoraco and a two-out walk to Shin-Soo Choo without allowing any runs. Wood caught Cozart looking to end the inning … 44 pitches for Wood through three innings, 32 for strikes.

The game remained 2-0 until the bottom of the seventh.

Travis Wood gave up just two hits and threw only 81 pitches, 57 for strikes, over the first six innings. Wood took the hill in the seventh with the Cubs up 2-0. Jay Bruce cut the Cubs’ lead in half with his first longball of the season. Bruce lined a 0-1 pitch over the wall in right center … just the second hit by a lefty in 19 at bats against Wood this season (2-for-19). Frazier grounded out to third before Chris Heisey reached on an infield single to the hole at short, the fourth hit of the night off Travis Wood.

Dale Sveum made the slow walk and went to his pen for Shawn Camp.

With Devin Mesoraco at the plate, Camp committed another balk. Heisey went to second but could not advance when Mesoraco flied out to center. As soon as lefty Jack Hannahan was announced as the pinch hitter for Mike Leake, Sveum went to his pen for James Russell. Hannahan pulled a 1-1 pitch off the wall in right. Heisey scored on the pinch-hit triple, and just like that the game was tied at two. Russell struck out Shin-Soo Choo to end the inning.

The game went to the eighth all knotted up at two.

Nate Schierholtz reached on a two-out single off of Jonathan Broxton that knocked him out of the game. The ball appeared to hit Broxton in the hand. Logan Ondrusek replaced Broxton and caught Welington Castillo looking at a 2-2 pitch to end the inning.

James Russell stayed in for the bottom of the eighth and issued a four-pitch walk to Zack Cozart. Russell stuck out Joey Votto swinging then ended the inning by starting a 1-4-3 double play off the bat of Brandon Phillips.

Aroldis Chapman struck out the side in the ninth on 13 pitches, nine for strikes … and Carlos Marmol retired all three batters he faced in the bottom of the ninth (Bruce, Frazier and Heisey) on 10 pitches, six for strikes … and the game went to the tenth tied at two.

The Reds tried to give the Cubs a run or two in the tenth … but the Cubs could not take advantage of the two extra outs. Anthony Rizzo reached with two outs on an error by Joey Votto then Alfonso Soriano reached on a throwing error by Zack Cozart. With runners on first and second with two down, Nate Schierholtz struck out swinging to end the inning.

Carlos Marmol pitched around a couple of walks in the bottom of the tenth … one unintentional and one intentional. Marmol struck out Joey Votto swinging and sent the game to the eleventh.

Darwin Barney reached with a single to right center with two outs in the eleventh. Julio Borbon hit for Marmol and walked. David DeJesus walked to load the bases. Dusty Baker made the slow walk and replaced Sam LeCure with J.J. Hoover. Starlin Castro stepped in and fell behind 0-2. Castro worked a full count then lined out to right to end the inning.

The Cubs and Reds both went down in order in the 12th.

Alfredo Simon started the 13th inning and was a victim of the third error of the night committed by the Reds’ infield. Welington Castillo pulled a 0-1 pitch toward third that skirted under Frazier’s legs down the left field line. Castillo ended up a second. Luis Valbuena stepped in and tried to bunt Castillo to third on Simon’s first two pitches. Simon missed the strike zone both times, so Sveum took the bunt off. Valbuena pulled Simon’s next pitch over the wall in right … and his third homer of the season gave the Cubs a 4-2 lead. Simon retired Barney, Sappelt and DeJesus in order to end the inning.

Michael Bowden stayed in for his second inning of work. Xavier Paul led off the inning with a single to right on a 0-2 pitch. Joey Votto flied out to the track in left. Brandon Phillips blooped a 1-2 pitch down the right field line. Dave Sappelt made a huge mistake. Instead of playing the ball on a hop and possibly holding the runners to first and second with one out, Sappelt tried to make a diving catch. Sappelt came up short, the ball rolled past him and the Reds had runners on second and third with one out.

Jay Bruce stepped in and lined a 1-0 pitch to right center. The ball rolled all the way to the wall and tied the game at four. After Frazier grounded out to second and advanced Bruce to third, Cesar Izturis lined a 1-1 pitch into left … game over.

Carlos Villanueva faces lefty Tony Cingrani on Tuesday night.

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Quote of the Day

"You can’t sit on a lead and kill the clock. You’ve got to give the other man his chance. That’s why baseball is the greatest game." - Earl Weaver