For each tally the Reds got in the first three frames, Alfonso Soriano responded on his own. Shin Soo Choo, who has been an OBP machine, led off the game with a first pitch home run. The Cubs left fielder one upped him with a two run jack to left in the bottom half, with Anthony Rizzo being along for the ride after getting hit by a pitch. Choo led of the third with a walk and later came in to score to knot it up at two.
But there was Soriano again to rescue the Cubs with another drive into the bleachers, this time as a follow up to a Rizzo double that was nearly a home run itself. Through three frames it was Soriano 4, Choo 2. From there both starting pitchers settled down. Jeff Samardzija scattered four hits and three walks in his six innings of work with five Ks, while area native Tony Cingrani almost mirrored The Shark’s effort. Cingrani limited the Cubs to just three hits and one walk while collecting five strikeouts as well.
May 3, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs left fielder Alfonso Soriano (12) hits a single during the first inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Reid Compton-USA TODAY Sports
From the seventh on is when the respective bullpens took over. On paper the Reds have the better bullpen and after James Russell’s scoreless inning of work, the discrepancy was played out on the diamond. To be fair to the rest of the Cubs bullpen, however, it was pretty much Carlos Marmol that poorly represented the home team.
Despite being in just a set up role to bridge the game into the ninth for Kevin Gregg, Marmol reverted to bad Marmol and the unwanted amusement park ride began for the fans in attendance at Wrigley and those watching the game on television. Marmol was being Marmol and walked the first two hitters of the eighth before hitting a Red with a 1-2 pitch to load the bases. Dale Sveum had seen enough and tried to further prevent a Marmol implosion by bringing in rookie Hector Rondon. Unfortunately it was a tough situation for the Rule 5 draft pick to be brought into and one single and a sac fly later, the game was tied.
Rondon then issued a bases loaded walk and another sac fly to give the Reds a 6-4 lead. Arodlis Chapman came in to close down the 9th inning and the Cubs could not rattle the fire ball throwing lefty for the second day in a row. The Cubs have now dropped eight in a row at Wrigley to their division rivals from Ohio and with Edwin Jackson set to go in the finale Sunday afternoon, the Cubs are at risk of getting swept in their own house.