Game Eighty-Seven: Cubs 3, Reds 9
WP – Mike Leake (7-7) LP – Edwin Jackson (5-9) Save – None
Edwin Jackson had another rough outing and the offense could not string together any hits, even after the 21-minute rain delay in the third inning, and the Cubs dropped the first of five games in four days to the Reds.
The Cubs tied the game at one in the fifth inning before Edwin Jackson gave up runs in the fifth and sixth innings that put the Cubs in a 4-1 hole. Jackson could not put hitters away and it cost him Monday night. Anthony Rizzo (1-for-5 with a home run and two RBI) cut the Reds lead to 4-3 in the seventh with a two-run homer. But the Reds scored two runs in the seventh on a Jay Bruce homer off James Russell and three more in the ninth on a bases clearing triple by Billy Hamilton off Blake Parker. The Reds leadoff hitter drove in four of the Reds nine runs and scored one of his own.
While the offense continued to have issues with runners on base and in scoring position, Edwin Jackson’s inability to put together a quality start on a regular basis hurt again Monday night. Jackson issued a four-pitch walk to Billy Hamilton to start the game that led to the Reds first run. Jackson settled down after the first inning and retired 13 batters in a row before giving up a double to Skip Schumaker in the fifth. The bottom of the Reds order was allowed to set the table for Billy Hamilton and he delivered with runners in scoring position.
Edwin Jackson surrendered four runs on seven this with two walks and six strikeouts. Jackson threw 100 pitches, 65 for strikes, in six innings.
James Russell and Blake Parker walked a combined three batters in the seventh and eighth innings and each of the three free passes scored. Russell walked Brandon Phillips with two outs in the seventh before Jay Bruce hit a towering homer to left on a 3-2 pitch. Parker issued walks to two of the first three batters he faced in the eighth. After a pinch-hit single by Zack Cozart loaded the bases, Billy Hamilton hit a bases clearing triple.
The offense actually outhit the Reds 11-10 on Monday night. But the Cubs were a miserable 2-for-15 with runners in scoring position and left nine men on base. The Cubs had a runner in scoring position in each of the first seven innings and only one of the two hits with RISP scored a run, Rizzo’s two-run homer.
Chris Coghlan (4-for-5 with two doubles, two runs scored and a stolen base) did his job at the top of the lineup. Justin Ruggiano (2-for-5) collected to more hits. Luis Valbuena (2-for-4) doubled and singled in four trips to the plate and Welington Castillo (1-for-4 with a double) managed an extra basehit, but was thrown out at the plate trying to score on a fly to right by Darwin Barney (0-for-4) to end the sixth inning.
With Monday’s loss, the Cubs dropped to 38-49 on the season.
After the Cubs could not cash in a leadoff single and a stolen base by Chris Coghlan in the first inning, Edwin Jackson issued a four-pitch walk to Billy Hamilton in the bottom of the first. Hamilton took off for second on a 1-1 pitch to Frazier and advanced all the way to third when Todd Frazier lashed a single into left. Brandon Phillips lined out to right, Hamilton tagged and scored, 1-0 Reds. Jay Bruce flied out to center and Devin Mesoraco grounded out to Castro for the third out. Edwin Jackson threw 17 pitches in the first inning, only eight for strikes.
After one inning, the Cubs trailed 1-0.
The game remained 1-0 Reds until the top of the fifth. The Cubs put at least one runner in scoring position in each of the first four innings but could not push any runs across the plate.
Mike Leake retired Darwin Barney (flyout to deep left) and Edwin Jackson (strikeout looking) to start the fifth. Chris Coghlan singled to center and advanced to third on a bloop single to right off the bat of Justin Ruggiano. Anthony Rizzo pulled a 2-2 pitch toward first. The ball scooted under Jay Bruce’s glove into right. Coghlan scored on Bruce’s error, game tied at one. With runners on the corners and two down, Starlin Castro struck out swinging to end the inning.
Edwin Jackson took the hill for the bottom of the fifth with the game tied at one. And as Edwin Jackson has done so many times throughout his Cubs career as soon as his teammates score a run for him, he gives it right back … and then some.
Jackson retired Ludwick on a grounder to short for the first out in the fifth. Ludwick was the 13th straight batter Jackson had retired. Skip Schumaker drove a 1-1 pitch into left center. Schumaker ended up at second and advanced to third on a single to left by Ramon Santiago (1-2 pitch). Mike Leake bunted Santiago to second. Billy Hamilton stepped in with runners on second and third with two outs and singled to right on Jackson’s first pitch. Schumaker scored, 2-1 Reds. With runners back on the corners and two down, Todd Frazier singled to center, Santiago scored and the Reds took a 3-1 lead. Phillips flied out to center to end the inning. Jackson needed 77 pitches, 52 for strikes, to complete five innings.
And after five innings, the Cubs trailed 3-1.
The Cubs failed to take advantage of runners on first and third with one out in the sixth. Welington Castillo reached on a one-out double to left. Nate Schierholtz singled to right. Gary Jones held Castillo at third with one out. Darwin Barney hit a fly into right. Skip Schumaker caught the ball and threw out Castillo, with a little help from Mesoraco, at the plate to end the inning.
Jay Bruce led off the sixth with a single to right on a 3-2 pitch. Devin Mesoraco doubled to left center on a 0-1 pitch. Bruce scored, 4-1 Reds. Ryan Ludwick gave an out away and bunted Mesoraco to third. Jackson struck out Schumaker swinging for the second out. Jackson walked the light hitting Santiago on five pitches. With runners on the corners and two down, Jackson struck out Mike Leake swinging to end the inning.
The game went to the seventh with the Cubs down 4-1.
Junior Lake hit for Jackson and lined out to Hamilton in center for the first out. Chris Coghlan doubled to left center and held when Leake struck out Justin Ruggiano swinging. Anthony Rizzo launched Leake’s first pitch over the wall in right. Rizzo’s 18th longball of the season cut the Reds’ lead to 4-3. Castro flied out to Hamilton in center for the third out.
James Russell replaced Jackson in the seventh and caught Billy Hamilton looking at a 2-2 pitch to end the inning. Todd Frazier grounded out to the hole at short. Starlin Castro made an excellent stop and throw from the grass. Anthony Rizzo caught the ball just before Frazier hit the bag. Frazier was called safe and Rick Renteria asked for a replay. The call on the field was overturned for the second out. But Russell issued a two-out walk to Brandon Phillips. Jay Bruce stepped in and worked a full count before he launched a towering homer down the right field line. Bruce’s ninth longball of the season put the Reds back up by three runs, 6-3 Reds. A disgusted looking Russell got the ball and retired Mesoraco on a grounder to third to finally end the inning.
The Cubs could not string together any hits against Jonathan Broxton in the eighth and Blake Parker took the hill in the home half with the Cubs down by three runs.
Blake Parker continues to have problems with throwing strikes at the big league level. Parker issued a leadoff walk to Ryan Ludwick. Schumaker flied out to center. Parker walked Ramon Santiago and Bryan Price sent Zack Cozart up to hit for Broxton. Cozart singled to left and loaded the bases with one out. Billy Hamilton pulled a 1-0 pitch from Parker into the right field corner. Hamilton cleared the bases with a triple and the Reds took a 9-3 lead. Parker retired Frazier on a pop out to Barney in shallow right and Phillips grounded out to Castro for the third out.
Justin Ruggiano singled in the ninth, but that was all for the Cubs offense. Sam LeCure retired three of the four batters he faced in the ninth to end the game.
The Cubs and Reds will spend Tuesday at Great American Ball Park. Weather permitting … the Cubs and Reds are scheduled to play a day-night doubleheader. Travis Wood faces Johnny Cueto in game one (12:10pm CDT) and LHP Tsuyoshi Wada makes his big league debut against LHP David Holmberg in the nightcap (6:10pm CDT).