Game Seventy-Four: Cubs 1, Reds 6
WP – Jonathan Broxton (3-0) LP – Hector Rondon (1-2) Save – None
Monday’s game was tied at one going into the ninth inning before the Reds started a five-run rally with two outs and nobody on with a bloop single. And the Cubs ended up dropping their third straight game at Wrigley Field.
Hector Rondon recorded two quick outs before pinch-hitter Chris Heisey blooped a single into right center. Heisey took second on a wild pitch that was scored as a stolen base and Billy Hamilton singled off Starlin Castro’s glove into center. Heisey scored and the Reds took a 2-1 lead. But before Rondon could record another out, the Reds loaded the bases and Devin Mesoraco hit his fourth homer in as many games. Mesoraco’s grand slam turned a close game into a blowout and another win for the Reds at Wrigley Field.
Prior to Monday night, Hector Rondon had not allowed a home run since August 3 of last year.
The Cubs are now 2-18 in their last 20 games against the Reds at Wrigley Field.
Jeff Samardzija struggled with his control over the first three innings. But once he settled down, he was very good. The Reds jumped on Samardzija in the first inning and took a quick 1-0 lead two batters into the game. Billy Hamilton doubled and scored on a Todd Frazier triple. Samardzija did not allow the Reds to push across another run in the first or in the second or third. The Reds had numerous chances to add to their lead as Samardzija ran up his pitch count. After three innings, the Reds were 1-for-5 with runners in scoring position and left five men on base.
Samardzija recorded his first clean inning in the fourth and retired 10 of the last 11 batters he faced. The only blemish over his last three innings was hitting Devin Mesoraco for the second time in the game in the sixth inning. Samardzija struck out Ryan Ludwick and Skip Schumaker to end his night.
Due to throwing 63 pitches in the first three innings, Samardzija turned the game over to the pen in the seventh inning. And for the eighth time this season he received a no decision. Samardzija failed to get a bunt down in the third inning to move Darwin Barney (1-for-3 with a double) to third with one out. Samardzija popped up the bunt to Joey Votto. After Votto caught the ball, Samardzija broke the bat over his knee in frustration.
Jeff Samardzija allowed one run on four hits with two walks, two HBP and seven strikeouts. Samardzija threw 107 pitches, 66 for strikes, in six innings.
Brian Schlitter and Pedro Strop kept the Reds off the board in the seventh and eighth innings. But Hector Rondon could not get out of the ninth and allowed five runs on four hits with one walk in two-thirds of an inning. James Russell picked up the final out in the ninth.
The Cubs had plenty of chances to put runs on the board once again. The offense was a miserable 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position and left four men on base in the first four innings. The Cubs were not able to cash in Darwin Barney’s leadoff double in the third or second and third in the fourth inning with no outs after Anthony Rizzo (2-for-4 with a home runs) singled and Starlin Castro (1-for-4 with a double) doubled.
The Cubs lone run came on an opposite field homer by Anthony Rizzo in the sixth. Rizzo tied the game at one with his 16th longball of the season.
The Cubs finished the game with five hits and one walk. And a lineup with four batters hitting .220 or less went 0-for-6 with RISP and left five men on base.
With Monday’s loss, the Cubs dropped to 31-43 on the season.
Billy Hamilton led off the game with a hustle double to right. Hamilton hit a grounder just out of the reach of a diving Barney and sprinted to second. Todd Frazier drove a 1-0 pitch into the gap in right center. Hamilton scored easily and Frazier ended up at third with a triple … 1-0 Reds. Votto grounded out to second and Frazier had to hold at third. Samardzija hit Devin Mesoraco with a 2-2 pitch and put runners on the corner with one out. Samardzija struck out Jay Bruce swinging for the second out. Samardzija was able to limit the damage when Ryan Ludwick grounded out to short to end the inning. Samardzija threw 23 pitches in the first and the Cubs were down 1-0 after a half inning.
The Cubs went down in order in the first inning on eight pitches, all eight for strikes. And the Cubs trailed 1-0 after one complete.
Both the Cubs and Reds wasted scoring chances in the second, third and fourth innings. The Reds took the 1-0 lead into the bottom of the sixth.
Alfredo Simon struck out Justin Ruggiano swinging to start the sixth. Anthony Rizzo reached out and drove a 1-1 pitch that appeared to be in the right handed batter’s box into the bleachers in left. Rizzo’s 16th longball of the season tied the game at one. Starlin Castro struck out swinging and Valbuena hit a weak grounder to second to end the inning.
After six innings, the game was tied at one.
The game remained knotted at one until the ninth inning. Hector Rondon retired Schumaker and Cozart to start the inning. Chris Heisey hit for Jonathan Broxton and blooped a 2-0 pitch into right center for the Reds first hit since the third inning. Heisey took off for second on a 1-0 pitch to Hamilton. The ball skipped past Castillo and Heisey moved into scoring position with two down. Billy Hamilton grounded a 2-2 pitch back up the middle and off of Castro’s glove into center. Heisey scored easily and the Reds took a 2-1 lead. Todd Frazier broke his bat and blooped a single into center. Hamilton advanced to third with two down. With Votto at the plate, Frazier took second. Rondon walked Joey Votto and loaded the bases for Devin Mesoraco. Rick Renteria left Rondon in and Mesoraco lifted a 1-0 pitch out to left center. The ball ended up in the basket and the Reds took a 6-1 lead. Renteria finally went and got Rondon. James Russell struck out Jay Bruce swinging to end the inning.
The Cubs went down in order in the ninth to end the game.
Jake Arrieta is scheduled to face Homer Bailey under the lights Tuesday night (7:05pm CDT) in game two of three with the Reds.