The Chicago Cubs went to Cincinnati and played three games against the Reds. The highlight of the trip might have been the debut of top prospect Jorge Soler!
Cubs 3, Reds 0
W: Wood (8-11) L: Cueto (15-8) SV: Rondon (22)
Travis Wood finally got a win! The former Cincinnati Red, was 1-5 with a 3.68 ERA in eight starts and had a winless streak of 12 starts. But he was much sharper on Tuesday night, allowing only two hits through six shutout innings. Wood walked one and struck out five over his 96 pitches for his first victory since June 15th. The left-hander outdueled Johnny Cueto and got the win with the help of homers from Anthony Rizzo and Arismendy Alcantara as the Cubs beat the Reds, 3-0, this was the Cubs’ fourth straight win and seventh in its last nine games. Matt Szczur, came into the game in the second to replace right fielder Ryan Sweeney who had to exit the game after straining his left hamstring running out a ground ball. Szczur singled in the seventh and Arismendy Alcantara hit a two-run homer to make it 3-0. The Cubs bullpen has been dominant, and this game was no different. Neil Ramirez and Pedro Stop each pitched one inning and Hector Rondon pitched a 1-2-3 ninth to hold onto the shutout and give the Cubs the win.
Reds 7, Cubs 5
W: Latos (5-3) L: Turner (4-8) SV: Chapman (28)
Luis Valbuena gave the Cubs a 1-0 lead in the second. After Valbuena hit his 13th. home run to lead off the second inning, Soler drove a 2-1 Mat Latos pitch 423 feet to deep left-center field. He is the first Cub to homer in his first MLB at-bat since Starlin Castro did so in the same ballpark on May 7, 2010. The Reds tied the game in the bottom of the inning, then took advantage of two Cubs’ errors in a four-run fourth. Jacob Turner couldn’t get out of the fourth in his first start for the Cubs since being traded from the Miami Marlins on August 8th. Turner needed 66 pitches to get two outs in the fourth inning, the shortest outing of his 13 starts this season. The Cubs added some runs in the eighth against Jonathan Broxton on a two-run double by Baez. Castro then smacked a long hit and committed a mental blunder, walking out of the box while his drive to center bounced off the wall and he ended up with only a single. I’m sure you all have read about this already and Anno wrote a nice little blog about it too, so we won’t really harp on that issue. Soler then drove in Baez from third on a single before Welington Castillo grounded into an inning-ending double play. Baez nearly made up for Castro’s mistake by hitting a booming drive to right-center field. It landed just shy of the fence, short of being a three-run homer. Soler’s impressive debut wasn’t enough as the Cubs came up short. Skip Schumaker drove in two runs to back Mat Latos, who struck out 10 over seven-plus innings, to lead the Reds to the win.
Reds 7, Cubs 2
W: Axelrod (1-0) L: Arrieta (7-5)
Right-hander Jake Arrieta was on the mound for the Cubs and so far he’s been outstanding but today, not so much. Arrieta, who took a perfect game into the sixth inning his last start against the Reds on June 24th, started the game shaky by walking Billy Hamilton. The Reds built a 3-0 lead in the second on RBI singles by Cozart, Hamilton and Frazier, and doubled it in the fourth on Frazier’s run-scoring single and second baseman Brandon Phillips‘ two-run double. Arrieta allowed six runs on six hits with four walks and eight strikeouts. The Reds also stole second base six times in the first four innings and four were turned into runs. It’s only the second time this season Jake Arrieta has been charged with more than three runs in a game. Reds’ Shortstop Zack Cozart had three hits and two stolen bases, and first baseman Todd Frazier had two hits, two RBIs and two stolen bases, however, Reds right fielder Jay Bruce continued his slump going 0-for-5; all strike outs. Dylan Axelrod made his second start for the Reds and finished with a line of five scoreless innings; gave up two hits, three walks and eight strikeouts. Jorge Soler broke up the shutout with a run-scoring single in the ninth, giving him four hits and three RBIs in his first two career games but it wasn’t enough for the Cubs to get the win.
Next for the Cubs is a four-game series in St. Louis, including a double-header on Saturday, a makeup game from May 14th. Here are the upcoming games and probable pitchers:
Chicago Cubs @ St. Louis Cardinals
Friday, August 29, 7:15 PM CDT, Busch Stadium
Saturday, August 30, 1:15 PM CDT, Busch Stadium
TV = CSN
Felix Doubront, LHP vs. TBA
Saturday, August 30, 7:15 PM CDT, Busch Stadium
TV = CSN
Tsuyoshi Wada, LHP vs. TBA
Sunday, August 31, 1:15 PM CDT, Busch Stadium
TV = WGN
Travis Wood, LHP vs. John Lackey, RHP
Thanks for reading and as always, Go Cubs!
Filed under: Cubs Games
Tags: Anthony Rizzo, Arismendy Alcantara, Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds, Felix Doubront, Hector Rondon, Jacob Turner, Jake Arrieta, Jorge Soler, Kyle Hendricks, Luis Valbuena, Matt Szczur, Neil Ramirez, Ryan Sweeney, St. Louis Cardinals, Starlin Castro, Travis Wood, Tsuyoshi Wada, Welington Castillo