Wood’s Streak Ends … Cubs Drop Sixth Straight – Cubs 2, Reds 5

Game Forty-Eight – Cubs 2, Reds 5

WP – Homer Bailey (3-3) LP – Travis Wood (4-3) Save – Aroldis Chapman (12)

Travis Wood’s string of nine consecutive quality starts to begin the season came to an end on Saturday in Cincinnati … and once again it was one bad inning that did in a Cubs’ starter.

The Cubs took a 2-1 lead into the sixth inning. Travis Wood was very sharp over the first two innings but the Reds started getting to Wood the second time through the lineup. And Wood could not get through the lineup a third time with a lead as the Reds tied the game and put it away with a four-run sixth inning.

Travis Wood walked Joey Votto to start the sixth then served up a single to Brandon Phillips that put runners on first and second with no outs. As Wood was obviously tiring, he retired Jay Bruce on an infield fly to Darwin Barney but Todd Frazier lined a 2-2 pitch into center that drove in Votto with the tying run. With Phillips at third, Dusty Baker called for a suicide squeeze. Derrick Robinson got the bunt down. Wood fielded the ball thought about throwing home but decided against it and Phillips scored what would end up being the winning run. The Reds tacked on two more runs before Dale Sveum finally went to his bullpen for Rafael Dolis.

Travis Wood allowed five runs on seven hits with three walks and five strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings, and two of the three walks Wood issued scored. Wood threw a season-high 115 pitches, 69 for strikes.

Rafael Dolis and Kevin Gregg kept the Reds from adding to their lead over the last 2 1/3 innings but the offense managed only one hit and one walk off the Reds bullpen.

Anthony Rizzo (3-for-3 with two doubles, a RBI, a run scored and a walk) broke out of his 0-for-23 slump in a big way with a three-hit game. Rizzo doubled in David DeJesus (0-for-3 with a walk and a run scored) with the first run and scored on an Alfonso Soriano (1-for-4 with a RBI) single in the Cubs’ two-run third inning.

The Cubs collected six hits on Saturday, only two for extra bases, worked four walks and struck out 11 times. The Cubs went 1-for-5 with RISP and left seven men on base. The inability to add on early when they had Bailey on the ropes ended up costing them late.

The Cubs free fall continued on Saturday as they lost for the sixth straight time and dropped to a season low 12 games under .500 (18-30) with their 30th loss of the year.

The Cubs took an early lead in the second inning after David DeJesus worked a one-out walk. Homer Bailey caught Starlin Castro looking at a 0-2 fastball for the second out. Anthony Rizzo worked a full count before ripping a double into left center. DeJesus was off with the pitch and scored from first. Rizzo’s first hit of the road trip (0-for-23) gave the Cubs a 1-0 lead. Alfonso Soriano lined a 3-2 pitch just out of the reach of Brandon Phillips. Rizzo scored, 2-0 Cubs. Nate Schierholtz followed with a single to right (0-2 pitch) that advanced Soriano to third with two down. With runners on first and third, Welington Castillo fouled out to Joey Votto to end the inning.

Derrick Robinson led off the Reds’ third with a single to left, the first hit off Travis Wood. Ryan Hanigan ripped a 2-1 pitch into center. Robinson stopped at second on the single. Homer Bailey tried to bunt both runners up ninety feet but bunted the ball right to Rizzo, who threw to Valbuena and forced Robinson for the first out. Wood struck out Choo and with runners on first and second with two down, Cozart hit a routine grounder toward third, Valbuena fielded the ball cleanly and beat Hanigan to the bag to end the inning. Wood needed only 40 pitches, 25 for strikes, to complete three innings.

At the end of three complete, the Cubs had a 2-0 lead.

The Reds cut the Cubs lead in half in the fourth. Wood struck out Votto swinging to start the inning. Brandon Phillips walked and advanced to third on a single to right off the bat of Jay Bruce (2-1 pitch). Todd Frazier lifted a 3-1 pitch out to right center. David DeJesus made the catch and Phillips tagged from third and scored easily … 2-1 Cubs. Wood walked Robinson (3-2 pitch) before retiring Hanigan on a grounder to short to end the inning.

The Cubs could not add on in the fifth or sixth innings and Wood took the hill in the bottom of the sixth clinging to a 2-1 lead.

Wood walked Joey Votto on four pitches to start the sixth, and the writing was on the wall that Wood was in trouble. Brandon Phillips lined a 2-2 pitch into right. Votto held at second on the single. Wood retired Bruce on a pop up to Barney (infield fly rule) for the first out. Wood jumped ahead of Todd Frazier 1-2. Frazier evened the count before ripping a single into center. Votto scored, game tied at two. Phillips advanced to third on the play.

Dusty Baker then called for a squeeze on a 0-1 pitch to Derrick Robinson. Robinson got the bunt down. Wood fielded it, thought about a backhand flip to the plate but decided against it and got the sure out at first. Phillips scored, 3-2 Reds. Frazier stopped at second on the play.

Ryan Hanigan doubled to left center. Frazier scored easily, 4-2 Reds. Cesar Izturis hit for Homer Bailey and lined a 1-2 pitch into center. Hanigan scored, 5-2 Cubs. Dale Sveum made the slow walk and went to his pen for Rafael Dolis.

Dolis walked Shin-Soo Choo but with runners on first and second with two down, Cozart popped out to Castro for the third out.

At the end of six, the Reds had a 5-2 lead.

Jonathan Broxton took the hill in the eighth with a 5-2 lead. After Castro flied out to right, Anthony Rizzo doubled to right. Soriano lined out to Choo for the second out. Ryan Sweeney then hit for Dolis and worked a walk. Welington Castillo (or Castro as the Reds’ PA announcer called him all day) stepped in with two on, two out and the Cubs down by three. Castillo flied out to right to end the inning.

The Cubs did nothing but swing and miss against Chapman in the ninth … game over.

Matt Garza makes his second start of the season on Sunday afternoon. Garza will take on Johnny Cueto in the finale against the Reds.

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