Game One Hundred Twenty – Cubs 0, Reds 5
WP – Bronson Arroyo (11-9) LP – Chris Rusin (2-2) Save – None
The Cubs managed only two hits and three total baserunners on Wednesday afternoon and lost another game to the Reds at Wrigley Field.
Bronson Arroyo was once again allowed to dominate the Cubs lineup and he faced the minimum over the first 6 1/3 innings of Wednesday’s game. Arroyo struck out four of the first nine batters he faced while his defense made one routine out after another. David DeJesus (1-for-3, HBP) reached base twice and was the only Cub to reach second base on the afternoon … and that was in the ninth inning. Darnell McDonald (1-for-4) made his first start and collected the Cubs only other hit. Reds’ pitching struck out 10 of the 29 batters they faced and shut out the Cubs for the second time in three games.
Chris Rusin pitched a good game but was really put in a no win situation. Rusin gave up a solo home run to Todd Frazier on his fourth pitch of the game then settled in and completed six innings on Wednesday afternoon. Rusin gave up his second run in the fifth inning on a double by Ryan Hanigan. Rusin turned the game over to Carlos Villanueva in the seventh inning after allowing two runs on three hits with a walk and three strikeouts on 76 pitches, 50 for strikes.
Carlos Villanueva was sent back to the pen prior to Wednesday’s finale and struggled again. Villanueva gave up three runs, two earned, on four hits with one walk and three strikeouts in two innings. The Reds padded their stats against Villanueva and left no doubt they would be completing another sweep at Wrigley Field.
Michael Bowden pitched a scoreless ninth and picked up a strikeout.
The Cubs were shut out at Wrigley Field for the fourth time in their last five home games and have lost 10 of the last 11 games at Wrigley. The Cubs are now 1-15 in their last 16 games against the Reds at Wrigley (1-9 this season). Dusty Baker’s team has won 13 of the 16 games against the Cubs this season.
With Wednesday’s loss, the Cubs dropped to a new season-low 16 games under .500 with a 52-68 record.
Todd Frazier’s solo home run in the first inning on Chris Rusin’s fourth pitch of the game would be all the Reds would need on Wednesday. But the Reds added on in the fifth and put the game away in the seventh and eighth against Carlos Villanueva.
Zack Cozart singled to left with one out in the fifth, just the second hit of the game off Chris Rusin. Ryan Hanigan followed and worked a full count. Cozart took off on the pitch and Hanigan drove a ball into right center. David DeJesus tried to make a diving catch, but came up short. The ball rolled all the way to the ivy and Cozart scored, 2-0 Reds. Arroyo tried to bunt Hanigan to third but popped the 1-1 pitch. Welington Castillo caught the ball and doubled off Hanigan from second base to end the inning.
The game remained 2-0 Reds until the seventh inning.
Carlos Villanueva retired Phillips on a flyout to right to start the seventh. Jay Bruce followed with a double to right. Villanueva struck out Ryan Ludwick swinging. Another Cubs pitcher allowed another light hitting shortstop to drive in a run. Zack Cozart pulled a double down the left field line. Ransom lunged like he was going to attempt a diving stop but ran into third base ump Brian O’Nora. The ball rolled down the line, Bruce scored and the Reds took a 3-0 lead. Villanueva intentionally walked Hanigan then struck out Arroyo swinging to end the inning.
The Reds scored two more in the eighth after Chris Heisey reached on a fielding error by Cody Ransom and scored on a double to left by Todd Frazier. Joey Votto followed with his 25th two-bagger of the season and plated Frazier with the Reds’ fifth run. Villanueva retired Phillips on a flyout to right, Bruce on a flyout to right and Ludwick swinging on a 1-2 pitch to end the inning.
The Cubs have Thursday off and open a three-game series with the Cardinals on Friday afternoon. Jake Arrieta is scheduled to face Jake Westbrook in the opener.