Cubs 6 Reds 2
Cody Bellinger drove in three runs, including a tiebreaking two-run single in the 6th inning and the Cubs took Game 1 of Friday's doubleheader 6-2 at GABP.
Bellinger, who had homered earlier vs starter Graham Ashcraft, spoiled David Bell's strategy of calling on Lucas Sims with runners on 2nd and 3rd and 0 outs in the 6th. The Reds drop to 31-35 at GABP.
The Reds offensive woes continue: They managed just seven hits, all singles, stranded 10 runners and went 2 for 10 w/ RISP. They left a runner on in each of the first five innings and had runners on in every inning but the 6th. The offense has scored three runs or less in 14 of their last 16 losses and in 23 of 45 since the All-Star break.
The Cubs played long ball add on with a Seiya Suzuki solo shot off Daniel Duarte in the 8th and an Ian Happ two run blast off Derek Law in the 8th. It was Happ's 17th career homer at GABP.
New guys: Harrison Bader hit leadoff in CF and was 0 for 3. Hunter Renfroe hit cleanup in RF and was 0-4.
Ashcraft: 5.0 IN, 6 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 6 K, HR. 72 pitches. He didn't allow a hit until the 4th inning. Cody Bellinger took him yard for a 1-0 Cubs lead in the 4th.
After a single and double put runners on 2nd and 3rd with no outs in the 6th and the game tied 1-1, he was done before facing Bellinger again. He induced just one ground ball out on the day. That's his fewest over his last 20 starts, since May 7. Ground outs over previous 5 starts: 9-8-13-12-11.
Sims: He came on in need of strikeouts w/ runners on 2nd and 3rd and 0 outs in the 6th at 1-1. But he allowed a two-run single to Bellinger and it was 3-1.
Then he got two strikeouts. 1.0 IN, 26 pitches
Duarte: 1.2 IN, HR, 2 BB, R
Law: 1.2 IN, 2 R, HR
Gotta think Sims (26 pitches), Duarte(40) and Law (34) are all out for Game 2 and tomorrow.
The chance: Trailing 3-1 in the 7th, Bell went to his bench to use lefty bats TJ Friedl (HBP) and Jake Fraley (GO). The Reds loaded the bases with one out, but Elly De La Cruz bounced into a DP.
He's back: Jake Fraley came off the IL and grounded out as a pinch-hitter in the 7th.
Nice days: Noelvi Marte collected two hits and a BB. He blistered an RBI single (110mph) to tie the game in the 4th inning. Steer 2 H, BB.
1st time: Elly De La Cruz unsuccessfully attempted to bunt for a hit with runner on the 5th inning. He was credited with his first MLB sacrifice.
How the Reds scored:
4th Marte RBI 1B, 1-1
9th Benson RBI 1B, 6-2