Yet again, a lack of run support proved costly to the Cubs’ Jeff Samardzija, who pitched well, allowing just one earned run in seven strong innings in Friday’s 4-1 loss to the Cincinnati Reds at Wrigley Field – in what has emerged as a troubling trend for the staff’s ace early in 2014.
Cincinnati (7-9) opened the scoring in the fifth on an RBI double off the bat of Billy Hamilton that plated Devin Mesoraco. The club added a pair of runs in the sixth when Zack Cozart grounded a ball to third baseman Luis Valbuena, who threw to second to force the runner out. Second baseman Emilio Bonifacio‘s throw was wide, allowing two runs to score on the error.
The Cubs’ offense pushed across a lone run in the bottom of the seventh, despite starting the inning with two men on and nobody out, via an RBI single from Valbuena. However, that was the extent of the Chicago offense, leading to a fifth consecutive loss for the club.
Samardzija’s final line was comparable to his early season work, as he tossed seven solid innings, allowing six three runs – one earned – on six hits and two walks, while notching seven punch outs.
Chicago (4-11) was led offensively by first baseman Anthony Rizzo, who added two more hits to his season total, and he will enter play Saturday hitting a team-best .345. No other Cubs bat tallied more than one hit against Cincinnati starter Alfredo Simon (2-1), who tossed six shutout innings, lowering his season ERA to a minuscule 0.86.