Chicago Cubs bullpen unable to hold off Reds, drop series opener


9. 5. 61. Final. 4

Bullpen allows late home run in loss to Reds

The Chicago Cubs were able to get to the Cincinnati Reds pitching, but it was a letdown from their bullpen that cost them in the 5-4 series opening loss. Justin Grimm (1-3, 1.93) allowed a two-run home run to Jay Bruce in the sixth as the Reds battled back to take the opener.

The Cubs (49-42) didn’t quite get a quality start from Clayton Richard, but it was close enough as he went 5 2/3 innings allowing just three runs on four hits while leaving with the lead. Turning it over to a very capable bullpen, the Cubs felt good about their chances.

After the Reds (41-49) took a 3-1 lead in the fourth on a wild pitch from Richard, followed by a solo home run from Marlon Byrd, the Cubs responded in the top half of he fifth.

After an Addison Russell lead off walk, Dexter Fowler split the right-center gap sending Russell to third. The Reds Billy Hamilton was able to cut it off quickly and fire it to second to nab Fowler going for two. Kyle Schwarber followed with a walk ahead of a ground-rule double from Kris Bryant. Jorge Soler then doubled in both to give the Cubs their short-lived lead.

Ryan Mattheus (1-1, 4.05) got the win working a scoreless inning while Aroldis Chapman picked up his 19th save sending down Schwarber, Bryant and Anthony Rizzo to close out the Cubs.

The 9-1-2 spots for the Cubs reached base nine times total, including four walks. They went 2-for-11 with RISP, leaving nine men on base.

Rafael Soriano made his Cubs debut, allowing one hit and walking one in his inning of work.

The two teams match-up tomorrow in a 6:10 p.m. CT contest again, with Jason Hammel (5-4, 2.86) facing the Reds’ Raisel Iglesias (1-2, 5.90)

Next: Could the Cubs make a run at the Padres' Venable?