Chicago Cubs Score and Recap (Simulated Game 64): Cubs 2, Reds 4 – Cubs Drop First of Four-Game Series in Cincinnati
After easily taking three of four at Wrigley Field last weekend, the Chicago Cubs (42-22) knew they wouldn’t be as lucky against the Cincinnati Reds (41-22) this weekend. The two teams kicked off a four-game series at Great American Ball Park on Thursday with the Reds taking a 4-2 win behind Sonny Gray, via MLB The Show 20.
José Quintana pitched for the Cubs and wasn’t bad, nor was it his best effort. Quintana has been pitching extremely well for Chicago this season, but on Thursday he allowed four runs – three of them earned – in six innings against Cincinnati, striking out 10 and walking only one batter.
The Reds struck first against Quintana in the 2nd inning, starting with Mike Moustakas reaching on an error by Willson Contreras. Moustakas chopped the ball at the plate and the catcher bobbled it before firing late to first base. Later, Quintana put Freddy Galvis on base by nipping his thigh with a curveball, then saw Curt Casali drive the ball out for a two-run double.
In the 3rd, it was Moustakas again being a thorn in Quintana’s side, driving a two-run homer to right field that gave the Reds a 4-0 lead. Gray was dominant for Cincinnati, going seven innings and giving up just one run on five hits and no walks with eight strikeouts.
Old friend Pedro Strop pitched the 8th inning, his regular role since joining the Reds, and served up a meatball to Ian Happ that was crushed to center for a solo homer. That’s as close as the Cubs would get, as Strop was able to send the next three batters down in order and Raisel Iglesias had no problem closing out the 9th.
Notes: After the game, David Ross mentioned that Jon Lester was on the mend and would likely be ready to pitch when his 15 days on the IL are finished. The left-hander will most likely not require a rehab assignment, but will be on a pitch-count … Strop has been very good for the Reds this season, throwing 22 innings with 13 holds, four saves, and one blown save with a 3.27 ERA. He has helped Cincinnati form one of the best bullpen trios in the game, along with Iglesias (2.73 ERA) and right-hander Robert Stephenson (2.04 ERA).
Happ – 1-for-4, HR, RBI
Hoerner – 1-for-3, 2B, RBI
Quintana – 6 IP, 6 H, 1 BB, 3 ER (4 R), 10 K
Gray – 7 IP, 5 H, 0 BB, 1 ER, 8 K
Moustakas – 2-for-4, HR, 2 RBI
Casali – 2-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI
Winning Pitcher – Gray (8-1)
Losing Pitcher – Quintana (5-3)
Save – Iglesias (15)
Home Runs – Happ (14), Moustakas (18)