And the Cubs Belong to the Reds – Cubs 1, Reds 2

Game Sixty-Three – Cubs 1, Reds 2

WP – Mike Leake (6-3) LP – Travis Wood (5-5) Save – Aroldis Chapman (17)

The Reds dominance over the Cubs continued on Wednesday afternoon at the old ballyard at the corner of Clark and Addison. Travis Wood once again came out on the wrong end of a pitcher’s duel as the Cubs not only dropped their 12th straight game to the Reds at Wrigley Field but also the 13th consecutive day game to the Redlegs in their home park.

The Reds offense did just enough against Travis Wood. Wood took a no hitter into the fifth that was broken up by a two-out infield single and a 1-0 lead into the sixth inning. But Brandon Phillips singled in Shin-Soo Choo with the tying run in the sixth and Todd Frazier golfed the second pitch of seventh inning that left the yard and ended up being the difference in the game.

Travis Wood notched his 12th quality start in 13 tries after allowing two runs on four hits with two walks and two strikeouts in seven innings. Wood threw 102 pitches, 67 for strikes.

James Russell and Kevin Gregg tossed two scoreless frames in relief of Wood but the offense simply could not do anything against Mike Leake.

The Cubs’ offensive offense managed only three hits and a walk against Mike Leake and Aroldis Chapman. Leake struck out four in a row and at one point recorded five straight outs via a strikeout late in the game. The Cubs struck out eight times on the afternoon.

Nate Schierholtz (1-for-3 with a home run) gave the Cubs the lead with his eighth longball of the season in the second inning. But the offense managed only two other hits (Ryan Sweeney and Darwin Barney), both singles, and Travis Wood worked the only free pass. The Cubs did not make solid contact on Wednesday and most of the outs were on routine plays and pop ups. The Cubs did not put two runners on base in a single inning on Wednesday afternoon.

Dale Sveum’s team hit a new low-mark for the season. Wednesday’s loss dropped the Cubs to a season-worst 13 games under .500 (25-38) for the year.

Nate Schierholtz and Ryan Sweeney managed the only hits in the game through the first four innings. Travis Wood did not allow a walk to Todd Frazier and an infield single to Cesar Izturis affect him in the fifth. Wood took a 1-0 lead in the sixth after being in full control, for the most part, throughout the first five frames.

The Reds tied the game the third time through the lineup in the sixth inning. Wood retired Derrick Robinson on a flyout to left center to start the inning. Shin-Soo Choo followed with a double to left center, just the second hit allowed by Wood on the afternoon. Wood retired Votto on a flyout to left for the second out but could not get past Phillips.

Brandon Phillips drove a 2-2 pitch into center. Phillips’ two-out RBI single tied the game at one. Jay Bruce grounded out to Barney to end the inning.

The Cubs went down rather quickly in the sixth. Leake retired the side in order with 15 pitches.

Todd Frazier led off the seventh with the game tied at one. Frazier golfed the second pitch of the inning (1-0 offering) into the bleachers in left … and the Reds took a commanding 2-1 lead. Frazier began play on Tuesday night without a home run since he took Jeff Samardzija deep on April 24. Frazier has hit homers in back-to-back games and his last three longballs have come against Cubs’ pitching.

Wood retired the next three batters he faced (Mesoraco, Izturis and Leake) in order to end the inning. But the damage had been done and the Cubs were looking up at another deficit.

Mike Leake struck out the Cubs in order in the seventh and gave up a single to Darwin Barney with one out in the eighth but that was all. Leake and Aroldis Chapman retired 12 of the last 13 batters they faced to end the game.

The Cubs wrap up the homestand and the four-game series with the Reds on Thursday afternoon. Jeff Samardzija faces Mat Latos in the finale.

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Quote of the Day

"Every strike brings me closer to the next home run." - Babe Ruth