Chicago Cubs: Reds score three times in the eighth to snap Cubs’ streak
By Jake Misener
Pedro Strop allowed three runs in the bottom of the eighth as the Cincinnati Reds snapped the Chicago Cubs’ five-game winning streak by a 4-2 final.
After Jake Arrieta did not allow an earned run into the sixth, the Chicago Cubs appeared poised to make it two-straight series sweeps. But Pedro Strop unraveled in the eighth as the reigning champs saw a lead quickly disappear in the series finale.
Chicago (68-58) opened the scoring in the top of the second when Ian Happ took Reds starter Sal Romano deep for a solo blast. The Cubs rookie now has 19 long-balls on the year.
After a two-base error by Kris Bryant in his first game back, Joey Votto singled to score Zack Cozart to tie things up 1-1 in the bottom of the fourth. The back-and-forth continued in the top of the sixth. With two men on, Javier Baez took the first pitch he saw into the gap, scoring another run and giving Chicago a 2-1 advantage.
That’s where things stayed until the eighth. when the wheels came off.
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Cozart and Votto flew out in what seemed like an uneventful inning. But with two away, Adam Duvall singled to center. Scooter Gennett doubled, moving Duvall to third. Strop intentionally walked Eugenio Suarez to load the bags, bringing up reliever Michael Lorenzen.
Bryan Price pinch-hit for him with Jose Peraza, who delivered a ground-rule double to give Cincinnati its first lead of the night. Strop uncorked a wild pitch later in the inning, accounting for the final Reds’ tally.
In the loss, Ben Zobrist continued his strong play, going 2-for-4 out of the leadoff spot. Baez raised his average to .272 on the year with a pair of hits. He and Kyle Schwarber teamed up for a perfect relay to cut down a runner in the middle innings, as well.
Next: Bryant not having a bad year, no matter what you hear
Chicago heads to Philadelphia for a weekend set against the Phillies on Friday.
Left-hander Jose Quintana (8-10, 4.27) starts for the Cubs. Jerad Eickhoff (3-7, 4.46) takes the ball for the home team in the opener. First pitch is at 6:05 p.m. CT. from Citizens Bank Park.