Game Ninety: Cubs 1, Reds 4
WP – Alfredo Simon (12-3) LP – Dallas Beeler (0-2) Save – Aroldis Chapman (19)
The Cubs struggles with the Reds continued Wednesday night as they lost for the fourth time in as many games at Great American Ball Park and dropped their sixth game in a row.
The offense managed only one run off Alfredo Simon and the Reds bullpen after having plenty of chances over the first three innings. Anthony Rizzo (2-for-3 with a home run and a walk) hit a moonshot with one out in the third inning and his 20th longball of the year was the lone run on the night for the Cubs.
The Cubs were 1-for-4 with RISP and left six men on base in three innings and managed only two baserunners after Rizzo’s home run. Alfredo Simon and the Reds pen retired 18 of the last 20 men they faced.
Starlin Castro (1-for-4), Ryan Sweeny (1-for-3 with a double) and Welington Castillo (1-for-2 with a walk) managed the other three hits. And Arismendy Alcantara went 0-for-4 in his big league debut while turning in three excellent plays in the field.
Dallas Beeler allowed one run to the Reds in the first four innings thanks to two defensive plays that ended both the second and third innings. Arismendy Alcantara threw out Ramon Santiago at third base to end the second and Welington Castillo threw out Billy Hamilton trying to steal second for the last out in the third. Beeler showed a lot of poise on the mound, even in the fifth inning when the game got away from the Cubs.
Dallas Beeler labored through the fifth as the groundballs he relies on found holes. Beeler gave up three runs in the fifth on four hits and a walk. Beeler issued four free passes on the night, and two of the four scored. Beeler ended up allowing four runs, all earned, on six hits with four walks and no strikeouts. Beeler threw 96 pitches, 58 for strikes, in five innings.
Justin Grimm pitched a 1-2-3 sixth inning and Wesley Wright covered the last two innings while allowing only one hit.
Rick Renteria was ejected from a game for the fifth time this season. After Luis Valbuena disputed a foul ball call in the fifth, Renteria went to ask for an explanation and was thrown out of the game by third base umpire Andy Fletcher in another episode of The Ump Show.
Anthony Rizzo became the first Cubs left handed hitter since Rick Monday in 1973 to hit 20 home runs before the All-Star break and Rizzo is the first Cub to hit 20 longballs before the break since Derrek Lee hit 27 homers in 2005.
With Wednesday loss, the Cubs are 12-35 against the Reds over the last two-plus seasons and dropped to 38-52 on the year.
The Reds took an early lead like they have in three of the first four games of the series. Dallas Beeler retired Jay Bruce (pop out to left) and Devin Mesoraco (blooper to second) to start the second inning, but he issued a two-out walk to Brayan Pena. Ramon Santiago pulled a 1-2 pitch into the gap in right center. Ryan Sweeney took a bad route to the ball, it skipped past him and rolled all the way to the wall. Pena lumbered around the bases and scored from first. Arismendy Alcantara threw a bullet from short right to third base to nail Santiago at third to end the inning.
Dallas Beeler threw 30 pitches in two innings, 19 for strikes, and the Cubs were down 1-0 after two innings.
After Arismendy Alcantara worked a full count and grounded out to third to start the third inning, Anthony Rizzo tied the game at one with a towering homer to right. Rizzo’s third longball in as many days and 20th of the year tied the game at one. Castro grounded out to short and Valbuena grounded out to Pena at first to end the inning.
The Reds were not able to tack on in the third. Welington Castillo threw out Billy Hamilton trying to steal second to end the third inning. Beeler needed 48 pitches, 30 for strikes, to complete three frames.
The game was tied at one after three innings.
Alfredo Simon retired the Cubs in order in the fourth and Beeler retired Schumaker on a fly out to right center for the first out in the fourth. Brandon Phillips singled to left, the second hit allowed by Beeler at the time. But he walked Jay Bruce and put runners on first and second with one down. Beeler jammed Mesoraco and he popped out to Valbuena in foul ground. Pena lined out to center and Beeler wiggled out of the jam in the fourth. Beeler threw 74 pitches, 45 in the zone, over the first four innings.
The Cubs and Reds were still tied at one after four.
The Cubs went down in order in the fifth and Beeler took the hill for his fifth inning of work in a tie game.
Ramon Santiago popped up a bunt attempt that Castillo caught behind the plate for the first out. Zack Cozart blooped a single into right center. Alcantara raced out and tried to make an over-the-shoulder catch but came up short. Simon bunted Cozart to second. Billy Hamilton pulled a 1-0 pitch into the gap in right center. Ruggiano misplayed the ball, it rolled all the way to the wall. Cozart scored easily and it appeared Hamilton would notch his first inside the park homer. But Hamilton was held at third with two outs. Beeler walked Schumaker and Brandon Phillips ripped Beeler’s first pitch through the hole at short and into left field. Hamilton scored, 3-1 Reds. Jay Bruce smoked a 0-2 pitch into right past a diving Alcantara. Schumaker scored, 4-1 Reds. Devin Mesoraco stepped in with runners on first and second with two outs.
Devin Mesoraco bounced a 2-1 pitch up the third baseline. Valbuena fielded the ball and took it to bag. But it was called a foul ball and Valbuena argued his case. Third base umpire Andy Fletcher did not want to hear it and told Valbuena to play ball. Rick Renteria went out to ask about the play and was promptly ejected from the game. An animated Renteria got his money’s worth before leaving the field and turning over the Cubs over to Brandon Hyde. Mesoraco grounded out to third to finally end the inning.
After five innings, the Reds had a commanding 4-1 lead.
And that is the way the game ended. Alfredo Simon and the Reds pen retired 18 of the last 20 batters they faced. The Cubs managed an Anthony Rizzo infield single and a walk by Welington Castillo over their last six at bats.
Kyle Hendricks faces Homer Bailey in his big league debut Thursday afternoon (11:35am CDT) in the finale of the five-game series in Cincinnati.