Rain Delays Another Loss – Reds 3, Cubs 2

Game Twenty-Five: Cubs 2, Reds 3

WP – Alfredo Simon (4-1) LP – Jeff Samardzija (0-3) Save – Jonathan Broxton (5)

Rain delayed Tuesday’s game three different times but in the end the Cubs offense could not put enough runs on the board and the Cubs lost for the third time in four games.

The Cubs took a 2-1 lead into the bottom of the fifth after rain delayed the start of the game for 19 minutes. Starlin Castro (1-for-4 with two RBI) delivered a two-run single in the third that gave Jeff Samardzija a lead. Billy Hamilton (3-for-4 with a home run, a walk, two runs scored and a stolen base) had a career night and his first big league homer tied the game at two in the fifth. Before the third rain delay, Ryan Kalish played a Zack Cozart single into a two-out triple and Chris Heisey came off the bench and drove in the go ahead run in the sixth inning.

Tuesday’s game took only three hours to play, but the three delays that totaled one hour and 45 minutes made it a long, wet night for both teams.

Jeff Samardzija did not have it on Tuesday night. And it was apparent in the first inning that it was going to be a short outing for the right-hander. Samardzija gave up a run in the first inning before he surrendered his first hit on a pair of walks, a wild pitch and a sacrifice fly. Samardzija did not get several calls from homeplate umpire Alan Porter, but he also did not make the right pitch when he needed to Tuesday.

Jeff Samardzija earned his first loss of the year after failing to complete seven innings for the first time in six starts. Samardzija allowed three runs on eight hits with four walks, four strikeouts and a wild pitch. Samardzija threw 109 pitches, 67 for strikes, in 5 2/3 innings. The runs allowed (3), hits (8) and walks (4) were season highs for Jeff Samardzija.

Zac Rosscup and Justin Grimm put together scoreless outings and Pedro Strop worked out of a bases loaded, no out jam in the eighth without allowing the Reds to add to their lead.

Darwin Barney, Starlin Castro and Emilio Bonifacio turned in defensive plays early in the game that helped keep the Reds off the board, but it was a defensive miscue by Ryan Kalish that was arguably the biggest play in the game.

The Cubs offense managed two runs on eight hits on Tuesday night. All eight hits went for singles, not one extra basehit for the Cubs once again. The Cubs went 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position and left eight men on base.

Starlin Castro delivered the big hit while Emilio Bonifacio (2-for-4 with a run scored), Ryan Kalish (2-for-4 with a run scored) and Anthony Rizzo (0-for-3 with a walk and a stolen base) all got on base. Luis Valbuena (1-for-2 with a walk) and Welington Castillo (1-for-3 with a HBP) also collected hits but Castillo left three men on base while Ryan Sweeney (0-for-4) stranded four men on base.

Rick Renteria was ejected in the bottom of the sixth inning for arguing balls and strikes. Renteria and the Cubs bench had issues with Alan Porter’s strike zone all night. Three minutes after the third rain delay, Renteria was ejected from the game, the second time this season Renteria was not around to see the end of the game from the dugout.

With Tuesday’s loss, the Cubs dropped to 8-17 on the season.

Jeff Samardzija struggled with his command in the first inning. After the Cubs went down in order on 11 pitches in the top half, Samardzija walked Billy Hamilton. Hamilton predictably stole second on the first pitch to Votto. Samardzija skipped a 2-2 pitch to Votto that got past Castillo. Hamilton went to third. Samardzija did not get the call on a 3-2 pitch to Joey Votto that appeared to be a strike. Votto walked and the Reds had runners on the corners with no outs. Brandon Phillips just missed a three-run homer. Phillips flied out to deep right. Hamilton tagged and scored, 1-0 Reds. Jay Bruce lined out to left for the second out. Samardzija appeared to get out of the inning when Todd Frazier rolled a 1-2 pitch toward first. Rizzo fielded the ball cleanly, then stumbled. Samardzija broke for first, before he stopped and could not get to the bag. Rizzo dove for first base but was late and Frazier was credited with an infield single. With two on and two down, Samardzija struck out Ryan Ludwick swinging to end the inning. Samardzija really labored in the first inning … 28 pitches, 16 for strikes, for Samardzija in the first.

The Reds took a 1-0 lead into the third inning.

Alfredo Simon retired Samardzija on a fly out to right for the first out in the third. Emilio Bonifacio ripped a single into left. The Cubs first hit of the night. Ryan Kalish followed with a single to right. Bonifacio advanced to third and the Cubs had runners on the corners with one out. Alfredo Simon did not give Rizzo anything to hit. Rizzo walked and loaded the bases with one out. Starlin Castro ripped Simon’s first pitch back up the middle and into centerfield. Bonifacio and Kalish scored, 2-1 Cubs. With runners on first and second and one down, Valbuena popped Simon’s first pitch into shallow right. The infield fly rule was called just before Phillips caught the ball. Rizzo and Castro pulled off a double steal on the first pitch to Castillo. With runners on second and third, Simon froze Welington Castillo with a 2-2 pitch to end the inning.

The Cubs took the 2-1 lead into the bottom of the fourth.

Jeff Samardzija retired three of the four batters he faced in the fourth. The rains came and delayed the game again. After 15 minutes, the game resumed.

The Cubs did nothing in the fifth after Kalish reached with a one-out single. Kalish was erased on a strike ‘em out, throw ‘em out to end the inning.

Billy Hamilton led off the fifth inning and lined a 1-1 pitch from Samardzija into the stands in right field. And Hamilton’s first big league home run tied the game at two. Samardzija walked Votto. After Phillips flied out to center, Samardzija struck out Bruce and retired Frazier on a flyout to right to end the inning.

After five complete, the game was tied at two.

Alfredo Simon faced the minimum in the sixth inning after Valbuena singled and Castillo rolled into a 5-4-3 double play. Jeff Samardzija took the hill for the bottom of the sixth after throwing 92 pitches over five innings, 56 for strikes.

Samardzija retired Ludwick (flyout to right) and Pena (flyout to left center) rather quickly to start the sixth. The light-hitting Zack Cozart tripled to right center. Ryan Kalish took a bad route to the ball and it skipped past him on the wet grass. Bryan Price sent up Chris Heisey to hit for Alfredo Simon. Heisey pulled a 1-1 pitch past Valbuena and into left. Cozart scored, 3-2 Reds. As the rain picked up, Billy Hamilton knobbed a 2-1 pitch toward third. Valbuena made a barehand pickup and strong throw to first. Hamilton beat it and the Reds had runners on first and third with two down. Rick Renteria made the slow walk and went to his pen for Zac Rosscup. As Rosscup was warming up, the game was put into the third rain delay of the night.

The game resumed one hour and 11 minutes later. Zac Rosscup was on the hill with Mike Olt at third as part of a double switch. Rosscup did not get the call on a 2-2 pitch to Joey Votto. Rick Renteria had seen enough of homeplate umpire Alan Porter’s strike zone. Renteria barked from the dugout and was ejected from the game. Rosscup struck out Votto swinging (3-2 pitch) to end the inning.

After six innings and three rain delays, the Cubs trailed the Reds 3-2.

And that is how the game ended. The bullpen kept the Reds off the scoreboard, but the offense could not string together any hits against the Reds pen.

The Cubs and Reds wrap-up the two-game series on Wednesday night (6:10pm CDT) … Edwin Jackson is scheduled to face lefty Tony Cingrani.

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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