Carlos Villaneuva allowed single tallies to the Reds in the first and second inning to start off Friday afternoon’s game. Despite being his second appearance against Cincinnati in as many weeks, the Cubs control pitchologist settled down to coast through the middle frames before the visitors caught up to him again in the sixth. Villanueva allowed a pair of RBI doubles in the frame before being replaced by Michael Bowden.
Unfortunately for the Cubs, their offense could not put together a string of hits to do any damage against Reds starter Mike Leake early on. However, the home team did respond with two runs of their own in the bottom of the sixth after the visitors had extended their lead to 4-0. Anthony Rizzo and Alfonso Soriano hit back to back doubles off of Leake for the first run before Nate Schierholtz followed with a RBI single to make it 4-2.
The visitors in red added insurance runs in the seventh and eight innings while the Cubs offense failed to cash in on a bases loaded one out situation after the seventh inning stretch. The offense in pinstripes tried to make up for it in the ninth when Reds manager Dusty Baker brought in closer Aroldis Chapman for a non save situation.
Dale Sveum countered with pinch hitter Dioner Navarro, a former catcher of Chapman’s with the Reds. Navarro capitalized on a combination of familiarity and the lefty pitcher’s fastball “only” hitting the mid 90′s, producing a single to lead of the half inning. Former Red Dave Sappelt and Starlin Castro followed up with singles of their own to load the bases with no outs. Chapman then came back to get Rizzo and Soriano to make it two outs, and suddenly Cubs fans were having flash backs to the seventh inning and many other innings so far this 2013 season.
Thankfully pinch man Scott Hairston drew a bases loaded walk to make it 6-3 before Welington Castillo’s single drove in a pair. Suddenly the Cubs were just down one run. Despite a walk to Cody Ransom to load the bases, Darwin Barney ended the game on a strikeout to complete another comeback tease and send fans at Wrigley home on a downer. The Cubs could not quite catch up late to an opponent yet again and fell to 11-18 on the year.