The Big Red Machine Keeps Churning Out Wins at Wrigley – Cubs 2, Reds 12

Game Sixty-Two – Cubs 2, Reds 12

WP – Tony Cingrani (3-0) LP – Matt Garza (1-1) Save – None

There have been some really bad Cubs’ teams over the years but until Tuesday night there had not been a Cubs’ team that lost 11 straight games to a visiting team at Wrigley Field. The Reds kept their winning streak alive at Wrigley with a convincing victory over Matt Garza and the Cubs. The Reds have won 11 consecutive games at Wrigley and 18 of their last 21 games against the Chicago Cubs.

The Cubs continued struggling offensively and defensively on Tuesday night while Matt Garza had the worst statistical outing of his career. Matt Garza gave up a career-high nine runs on nine hits with two walks, a hit batsman and three strikeouts in five-plus innings. Garza served up three of the Reds four home runs on the night and left in the sixth inning after facing six batters without recording an out.

Matt Garza was sharp early on and the first two homers by Todd Frazier and Joey Votto barely left the yard but the third one off the bat of Xavier Paul in the sixth inning nearly ended up on Sheffield Avenue. Before Tuesday, Matt Garza had allowed three runs or less in 19 straight starts at Wrigley. Tuesday night was the 175th game and 172nd start of Garza’s career and before Tuesday he had never allowed nine earned runs in a single outing.

The Reds tacked on three more runs in the eighth off Zach Putnam. Zack Cozart launched the Reds’ second three-run homer off the night off Putnam. After the pitch to Cozart, Putnam left the game with an arm injury and will have an MRI on Wednesday.

The Cubs offense was pretty much non-existent again. Cody Ransom (1-for-3 with a home run, a walk and two runs scored) was responsible for both of the Cubs’ runs. Ransom walked in the fourth and scored on a sac fly by Alfonso Soriano (0-for-3 with a RBI and two strikeouts). Ransom then hit his seventh homer of the season in the sixth off Tony Cingrani. Anthony Rizzo (1-for-3 with a walk) reached base for the 15th straight game.

The Cubs managed only five hits and two walks on the night.

While Matt Garza was not good, the Cubs defense was charged with four more errors, and Cody Ransom was hung with three of them. There appeared to be a lot of indifference coming out of the third base dugout on Tuesday night. The Reds really outplayed the Cubs and it was easy to tell which team wanted to be there and which team would have rather been somewhere else.

With Tuesday’s loss, the Cubs dropped back to 12 games under .500 on the year with a 25-37 record.

Matt Garza’s night began on a positive note. Garza retired the Reds in order to start the game on just 12 pitches, nine for strikes. While the Cubs offense struggled to get a hit against Tony Cingrani, the Reds offense used the wind and the basket to their advantage in the second inning.

Garza retired Phillips on a fly out to center and struck out Bruce swinging on a 2-2 pitch. But Todd Frazier lifted a 1-2 pitch into the breeze and the wind carried the ball into the basket in right center. With the way the Cubs offense is struggling, Frazier’s first homer since he took Jeff Samardzija deep on April 24 put the game away. Xavier Paul doubled to left on a 2-1 pitch but Hanigan grounded out to third to end the inning. Garza needed 38 pitches, 26 for strikes, to complete two innings on Tuesday night.

The Reds tacked on in the third inning. Tony Cingrani led off the third with a bunt single to the third base side of the mound. Choo bunted Cingrani to second and Cozart grounded out to third for the second out. But Garza could not record the third out without giving up a big fly.

Joey Votto drove the first pitch to the opposite field. The ball ended up in the basket and Garza and the Cubs were looking up at another big deficit at home against the Reds. Phillips grounded out to third to end the inning.

Ryan Sweeney notched the Cubs first hit in the third, an infield single off Cingrani’s glove, with one down. Garza bunted Sweeney to second before Barney flied out to center to end the inning.

Garza pitched around a leadoff single by Jay Bruce in the fourth and the Cubs broke-up Cingrani’s shutout in the home half of the inning.

Cody Ransom walked to start the fourth. Anthony Rizzo singled to center on a 3-2 pitch. Ransom ended up at third with no outs. Alfonso Soriano stepped in and worked the count to 3-1. Soriano then just missed a three-run homer. Soriano hit the 3-1 pitch off the end of the bat. Xavier Paul caught the ball, Ransom tagged, scored and cut the Reds lead to 3-1. Todd Frazier made an excellent diving stop on a ball ticketed for the left field corner off the bat of Scott Hairston. Frazier could not make a play and the Cubs had runners on first and second with one down. But Welington Castillo grounded into a 3-6-1 double play that Joey Votto started with an excellent pick to take away a hit from Castillo.

Matt Garza faced the minimum in the fifth as it took Garza 72 pitches, 52 for strikes, to complete five innings on Tuesday night.

After Tony Cingrani made quick work of the Cubs in the fifth, the Reds poured it on in the sixth inning and scored six runs off Garza before he could record a single out.

Joey Votto led off the sixth with what should have been a single to right. Scott Hairston misplayed the sinking liner, the ball rolled between his legs and all the way to the ivy. Votto ended up at third on Hairston’s error. Garza then walked Brandon Phillips (3-1 pitch) to put two on with no outs for Jay Bruce.

Bruce drove Garza’s first pitch down the left field line. Votto and Phillips scored, 5-1 Reds. Garza then hit Frazier with a 0-1 pitch and there were two on with no outs for Xavier Paul. Paul launched Garza’s first pitch over the wall in right and the Reds took an 8-1 lead on their third home run of the night. Garza walked Hanigan and Dale Sveum went to his pen for Hector Rondon.

Tony Cingrani reached base for the third time. Cingrani tried to bunt Hanigan to second with the Reds up by seven runs. Cody Ransom overran the ball and Cingrani reached on the Cubs’ second error of the inning and third of the night. Shin-Soo Choo rapped into a 4-6-3 double play. Hanigan ended up at third with two outs and scored when Zack Cozart drove a 1-2 pitch into right field … 9-1 Reds. Rondon retired Votto, the tenth man to hit in the inning, for the third out.

Cody Ransom hit his seventh longball of the season with one out in the sixth that made it 9-2 Reds. Cingrani struck out Rizzo and Soriano to end the inning.

The Reds kept adding on in the eighth and really turned the game into a laugher. Zach Putnam took over for Rondon in the eighth and gave up a leadoff single to pinch-hitter Jack Hannahan. Shin-Soo Choo followed with a double to left center and the Reds had runners on second and third with no outs.

Zack Cozart padded his stats with a deep fly into the bleachers in left. The Reds fourth homer of the night made it 12-2 Reds. After the pitch to Cozart, Putnam called the trainer out and had to leave the game with an arm injury. Putnam will have an MRI on Wednesday to determine the severity of the injury.

Carlos Villanueva replaced Putnam and kept the Reds off the board for the remainder of the eighth. Blake Parker pitched a scoreless ninth as the Cubs managed a couple of baserunners over the last two innings and neither one of them reached second base.

Travis Wood faces Mike Leake in the third of the four game series on Wednesday afternoon.

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Quote of the Day

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