Game Eighteen – Cubs 5, Reds 13
WP – Blake Wood (2-0) LP – John Lackey (3-1) Save – None
The Cubs lost to the Reds for the first time this season. The Reds scored seven runs in the sixth inning on two, three-run homers and a solo home run. John Lackey did not have it and gave up six of the 13 runs as the Cubs were thumped on Saturday night.
The Cubs had leads of 1-0 and 3-2 on Saturday but the Reds put a seven-spot on the board in the sixth and just outslugged the Cubs. The Reds hit four home runs and scored 11 of the 13 runs in their last three at bats.
The Reds’ seven-run inning was the most runs scored off the Cubs in a single inning this season. And the 13 runs the Reds scored more than doubled the six runs the Diamondbacks put up against Cubs’ pitching back on April 7. The 13 runs allowed were more than the Cubs pitching staff surrendered in the previous seven games combined.
John Lackey struggled with his location after the third inning. Lackey surrendered six runs on seven hits with a walk and five strikeouts. Lackey made 95 pitches, 58 for strikes, in 5 2/3 innings.
The bullpen could not slow down the Big Red Machine. Trevor Cahill served up back-to-back homers in the sixth inning and was charged with three runs on three hits in a third of an inning. Neil Ramirez gave up two runs on two hits and a pair of walks. Ramirez struck out three in his inning of work. Clayton Richard had his issues again. Richard walked Tony Cingrani to start the eighth and by the time he could record three outs, the Reds scored two more runs.
The Cubs defense was charged with three errors. Addison Russell made two throwing errors, one gave the Reds their first run. Jorge Soler committed the third error in the eighth inning.
The Cubs scored first Saturday night on a booming homer off the bat of Addison Russell (1-for-1 with a home run, three walks and two runs scored), a solo shot to the upper deck in the second inning. The Cubs scored two runs in the fifth and took a 3-2 lead. Russell walked to start the fifth. After Lackey flied out to right, Dexter Fowler (2-for-4 with two doubles, a walk, two runs scored and a RBI) doubled down the first base line. Russell scored and tied the game at two. Jason Heyward (2-for-4 with a walk, a run scored and a RBI) was caught looking. Kris Bryant (1-for-5 with a RBI) singled to left. Fowler scored, the Cubs took a 3-2 lead and knocked Dan Straily out of the game.
John Lackey was off Saturday night at the Great American Ball Park. Lackey did not allow a hit until the fourth inning, but it was obvious he was not as sharp as he was in St. Louis. The Reds squared up Lackey the second time through and a throwing error by Addison Russell allowed the first run to score in the fourth inning. The Reds scored two times in the fifth and it might have been more if not for a perfectly executed relay (Fowler-to-Russell-to-Baez) that cut down Brandon Phillips at third base after he drove in Eugenio Suarez with the Reds’ second run. Lackey retired the Reds in order in the fifth after the Cubs retook the lead in the top half.
John Lackey started the sixth with a 3-2 lead that quickly disappeared. Tyler Holt batted for Blake Wood and led off with a soft single to right center. Zack Cozart singled to right. Holt went to third with no outs. Eugenio Suarez cranked Lackey’s first pitch to deep center. The ball sailed over the wall and just like that the Reds took a 5-3 lead on Suarez’s three-run homer.
Joey Votto restarted the sixth with a single to center. But Phillips hit a liner back to Lackey and he doubled off Votto at first. Lackey walked Jay Bruce and Joe Maddon made the slow walk. Maddon called for Trevor Cahill.
Devin Mesoraco singled to right and put runners on first and second with two outs. Cahill fell behind Adam Duvall, and it cost the Cubs. Duvall teed off on Cahill’s next pitch and hit a three-run homer to left. The Reds took an 8-3 lead and were not done.
Scott Schebler followed Duvall’s blast with a solo shot to right … and the back-to-back home runs gave the Reds a 9-3 lead. Tyler Holt, who started the inning, flied out to Bryant in deep left to finally end the sixth inning.
The Cubs chipped into the Reds big lead in the top of the seventh.
With the Cubs down 9-3, Fowler led off the seventh with a double to left. Heyward blooped a 3-2 pitch into left center. Fowler scored and Heyward went to second on the throw to the plate. Bryant grounded out to the hole at short. Bryant almost beat out Cozart’s throw. Heyward held at second. Rizzo struck out swinging for out number two. Ben Zobrist (1-for-4 with a walk and a RBI) singled to right on a 3-1 pitch. Heyward scored, 9-5 Reds. Zobrist went to second but Montero flied out to center for the third out.
The Reds got the two runs right back in the bottom of the seventh off Neil Ramirez. Cozart struck out swinging but Ramirez walked Suarez and fell behind Votto 3-1. Joey Votto unloaded on Ramirez’s next pitch and pulled the ball over the wall in right center … 11-5 Reds. Phillips followed with a double down the right field line. Ramirez intentionally walked Bruce. A wild pitch with Mesoraco allowed Phillips to take third. Bruce held at first base. With runners on the corners and one down, Ramirez struck out Mesoraco swinging. Duvall struck out swinging. And after seven complete, the Reds had a commanding 11-5 lead.
The Cubs tried to get back in the game in the eighth. Walks by Russell, Fowler and Heyward loaded the bases with two outs. Kris Bryant smoked a 0-1 pitch from Tony Cingrani toward third. Suarez trapped the sinking liner, and took the ball to the bag to end the inning.
The Reds tacked on two runs in the eighth off Clayton Richard. And the Cubs helped the Reds with a walk to Tony Cingrani and an error by Addison Russell.
Ben Zobrist reached on an error in the ninth. But that was all for the Cubs as Javier Baez struck out swinging to end the game.
The Cubs scored five runs on seven hits with eight walks and eight strikeouts. The Cubs were 3-for-14 with RISP and left 11 men on base. Cubs’ pitching gave up 13 runs on 14 hits with four walks and nine strikeouts.
With Saturday’s loss, the Cubs slipped to 13-5 on the season.
The Cubs end the road trip and series in Cincinnati on Sunday afternoon (12:10pm CDT) with the finale against the Reds. Jason Hammel is scheduled to face Alfredo Simon.