Wrigley Continues to Be Reds Home Away from Home – Reds 8, Cubs 2

Game Seventeen: Cubs 2, Reds 8

WP – Homer Bailey (1-1) LP – Carlos Villanueva (1-4) Save – None

The Reds domination over the Cubs at Wrigley Field continued Sunday as Cincinnati beat the Cubs for the 17th time in 19 games (2-17) in their home park.

The Reds scored all five of the runs Carlos Villanueva allowed on Sunday with two outs. Villanueva struck out six batters in the first three innings. But then fell apart the second time through the lineup when he started elevating his changeup and hanging his slider. The first 13 batters Villanueva faced Sunday went 2-for-12 with a walk and seven strikeouts. The last 11 batters went 7-for-11 with four doubles and five RBI. Villanueva needed only 49 pitches (34 strikes) to complete three innings and it took him 55 pitches to record the next five outs.

Carlos Villanueva was not good and allowed the bottom of the order to do most of the damage. Villanueva could not complete five innings on Sunday. Villanueva allowed five runs on nine hits with one walk and seven strikeouts. Villanueva threw a season-high 103 pitches, 71 for strikes, in 4 2/3 innings.

Wesley Wright tossed 1 1/3 scoreless innings before the Reds removed any doubt of Sunday’s outcome against Jose Veras in the seventh.

In his first action since April 11, Jose Veras was all over the place. Veras missed his spots by feet and not inches. Veras gave up a solo homer to Jay Bruce and a two-run shot to light hitting Zack Cozart. Veras threw 32 pitches, 16 in the strike zone, and gave up three runs on two hits (two home runs) with two walks and two strikeouts.

James Russell retired all three batters he faced with a strikeout in the eighth. And Justin Grimm escaped the ninth inning without allowing any runs thanks to a running catch in left center by Ryan Sweeney to end the inning.

The Cubs’ offense had plenty of chances early in the game against Homer Bailey but could not push any runs across the plate. The Cubs allowed Bailey to get comfortable and he turned out his best outing of the season. The Cubs were 1-for-5 with RISP and left four on base in the first three innings while Sunday’s outcome was still in question. The lone hit was a bloop single by Anthony Rizzo that could not advance Emilio Bonifacio.

The Cubs finished the game 3-for-15 with runners in scoring position and left 14 men on base.

The Cubs managed 11 hits, two for extra bases, and six walks but only two runs on a day the wind was blowing straight out at Wrigley Field.

Ryan Sweeney (2-for-4 with a RBI and a HBP) and Nate Schierholtz (2-for-5 with a RBI) drove in the Cubs runs while Anthony Rizzo (2-for-3 with two walks) reached base four times. Emilio Bonifacio (2-for-4 with a double, a walk and a run scored) collected one of the two extra basehits, scored a run, stole a bag and was caught stealing after replay overturned the call on the field.

With Sunday’s loss (1-2 on Sundays in 2014), the Cubs dropped to 5-12 on the season.

The Cubs had chances in the first three innings to put runs on the board against Homer Bailey. The Cubs managed only one hit, an Anthony Rizzo bloop single, with runners in scoring position. The Cubs were 1-for-5 with RISP and left four runners on base in a scoreless game.

Carlos Villanueva had good command and was keeping everything down in his first three innings of work. Villanueva struck out six batters in three innings and needed 49 pitches, 34 for strikes, to complete three frames. But he started elevating in the fourth inning and the Reds took advantage of his bad location.

After catching Jay Bruce looking at a 2-2 pitch to start the inning, Todd Frazier singled to left. Ryan Ludwick popped a 2-2 pitch up to Rizzo at first for the second out. Devin Mesoraco crushed a 1-0 changeup into the left field corner. Frazier ran hard with two outs and scored when Ryan Sweeney hit the sidewall on his throw into Starlin Castro. With the Reds up 1-0, Villanueva hung a slider to the weak-hitting Zack Cozart. The Reds’ shortstop pulled the ball off the top of the vines in left center. Mesoraco scored easily, 2-0 Reds. Villanueva could not put away Homer Bailey and the Reds’ pitcher hammered a changeup (eighth pitch of the at bat) into left. Cozart scored, 3-0 Reds. Billy Hamilton tapped back to Villanueva on his 31st pitch of the inning for the third out.

The Reds took a 3-0 lead into the bottom of the fourth … and the Cubs made it very easy on Bailey in the fourth, a single and three outs on just 10 pitches.

Carlos Villanueva was left in to start the fifth and the Reds put the game away. Villanueva retired Votto (flyout to left) and Phillips (flyout to center) to start the inning. Jay Bruce reached on a double to right center. Todd Frazier ripped a double off the bricks in left center. Bruce trotted home, 4-0 Reds. Ryan Ludwick pounded a 2-2 pitch into left. Frazier scored, 5-0 Reds. At that point Renteria decided that was enough and went to his pen for Wesley Wright. Renteria made a double switch and put in Luis Valbuena at second and took Darwin Barney out of the game. Devin Mesoraco smoked a single into left past a diving Starlin Castro. And the inning finally came to an end when Cozart flied out to deep center.

The Cubs put two on with one out in the bottom of the fifth. But Bailey caught Rizzo looking at a 2-2 pitch for the second out and retired Schierholtz on a flyout to center to end the inning.

The Reds took a 5-0 lead into the sixth inning.

Jay Bruce gave the Reds a 6-0 lead in the seventh inning with a long homer to center off of Jose Veras. The ball ended up in the basket and the Reds kept rolling along. Ryan Ludwick flied out to left for the second out in the seventh before Veras walked Mesoraco. Zack Cozart made it 8-0 with a two-run homer to left on a 1-1 pitch. Chris Heisey hit for Homer Bailey and walked after Veras was ahead in the count 1-2. Veras struck out Billy Hamilton swinging to end the inning.

Manny Parra replaced Bailey in the seventh with the Reds up 8-0. Emilio Bonifacio led off the inning with a double to right. Ryan Sweeney blooped a single into right. Bonifacio scored, 8-1 Reds. Anthony Rizzo walked and put two on with no outs for the struggling Nate Schierholtz. Schierholtz pulled Parra’s first pitch toward right. The liner hit off the top of Phillips’ glove. Sweeney rounded third and headed for the plate. Bruce threw a strike to Mesoraco, but Sweeney got his foot in ahead of the tag … 8-2 Reds. Castro struck out swinging (3-2 pitch) at a ball in the dirt for the first out. Mike Olt walked (3-2 pitch) to load the bases. Bryan Price decided that was enough for Parra and went to his pen for Sam LeCure. Welington Castillo hit into a 4-3 double play to end the inning.

The Reds did nothing in the eighth against James Russell while the Cubs put another runner on base but could not string together any hits against Sam LeCure in the home half. Justin Grimm gave up a couple of hits in the ninth but escaped the jam without allowing the Reds to add to their lead. Anthony Rizzo and Nate Schierholtz led off the ninth with singles off Sean Marshall. Starlin Castro grounded into a 6-4 fielder’s choice. Mike Olt struck out and Welington Castillo grounded out to third to end the game.

The Cubs open a four-game series on Monday night (7:05pm CDT) against the Diamondbacks at Wrigley Field. Travis Wood faces Bronson Arroyo in the opener.

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Quote of the Day

"Build up your weaknesses until they become your strong points." – Knute Rockne