The Cubs looked to bounce back from a series-opening loss against the Reds Friday night at Great American Ball Park. Just like Thursday, the Cubs had the lead early before the dangerous Cincinnati offense fought back for a second consecutive win.
Jose Quintana struggled, allowing five hits in the first two innings of the game. Billy Hamilton gave the Reds a lead with an RBI single in bottom of the 2nd inning. The Cubs rallied back in the 4th inning, when Javy Baez bunted for a hit to score Ben Zobrist from third to tie the game. Kyle Schwarber kept his power surge going with a homer to center, his third in four games, to give Chicago a 3-1 edge.
Cincy got to Quintana in a big way in the 5th. Joey Votto singled home a run and came home himself when Eugenio Suarez hit his own two-run bomb to center to put the home side up 4-3. Adam Duvall tacked on an insurance run with an RBI single off of Justin Wilson in the 7th. An Anthony Rizzo misplay in the 8th led to the final run in a 6-3 loss. (Box score)
Why the Cubs Lost
Once again, the Reds lineup had an outburst in the middle innings to take the lead. Their bullpen has been terrific, keeping the Cubs completely off the board.
Suarez’s homer was all the Reds would need. He has had a tremendous year with 16 homers and an OPS over .950.
Stats That Matter
- Quintana did not have his best stuff Friday: 5 IP, 4 R, 9 H, 3 K, and 2 BB. He struggled early then settled down before once again giving it up the third time through the order. His problems when teams get that third look at him don’t seem to be going away.
- Zobrist was the bright spot in the Cubs offense, reaching base three times on Friday.
This was another frustrating game against the last-place Reds. The Cubs are now 3-4 against Cincinnati in 2018. The lineup is legit, but the failure to take advantage of subpar starters is really hurting.
Luke Farrell makes a spot start for the Cubs at 3:10 pm CT on Saturday. Anthony DeSclafani gets the nod for the Reds in a game available on ABC-7.