The Chicago Cubs’ bullpen has had its fair share of struggles this season, and Friday was just the latest example as they fell 6-5 to the Cincinnati Reds at Wrigley Field.
Coming into the game in the ninth inning, reliever Steve Cishek allowed a lead-off walk to Joey Votto and then watched as Eugenio Suarez blasted a two-run home run into the left field bleachers to give the Reds back the lead, and ultimately the victory in the showdown between divisional rivals.
Reliever Brad Brach also struggled in the game, giving up an earned run and four hits. Starter Kyle Hendricks allowed three earned runs in six innings of work as he was tagged with a no-decision.
Yasiel Puig hit a home run and drove in three RBI for the Reds, who beat the Cubs for the third time in their last four meetings with the North Siders. Votto also scored two runs in the victory.
For the Cubs, the long-ball was the story of the day, as Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo hit back-to-back home runs in the third inning of the contest. Kyle Schwarber led off the game with a home run in the first inning, his eighth long ball of the season.
The home runs by the trio of Cubs gave the team a 4-0 lead after three innings of play, but from there the Reds began to slowly chip away. Puig hit an RBI single in the fourth inning to get Cincinnati on the board, and then homered to center field to pull the team within one in the sixth.
In the seventh inning, Jesse Winkler hit an RBI double to center field, scoring Votto to tie the game at four, but the Cubs managed to take the lead in the eighth inning as Willson Contreras looped an RBI single to center field to make it a 5-4 contest.
Unfortunately for the Cubs, Cishek couldn’t hold the lead, giving up a walk to Votto and then a long home run to Suarez, which gave the Reds a lead they would never relinquish.
The Cubs will try to bounce back from the loss on Saturday when the teams meet against at Wrigley Field. First pitch is scheduled for 1:20 p.m., and Yu Darvish will take the ball for the Cubs as they try to snap a brief two-game losing streak.