Chicago Cubs pitcher Cole Hamels was forced to leave Friday’s game against the Cincinnati Reds with an injury, and things didn’t get much better from there as the North Siders lost the opening game of a three-game set.
Mike Montgomery gave up five earned runs in 2.1 innings of work, and although the Cubs were able to hold the Reds off the board for the remainder of the game, their offense couldn’t get things working in the losing effort.
Sonny Gray held the Cubs to two runs in 6.1 innings of work and earned the victory at the Great American Ballpark.
Joey Votto had a monster night for the Reds, going 4-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored, and Jose Iglesias drove in a pair of RBIs in the winning effort.
For the Cubs, their offense was helped by a two-run home run from Jason Heyward, his 12th of the season, and Albert Almora Jr. also drove in a run as the offense sputtered to a halt through much of the contest.
Iglesias got the Reds on the board in the first inning with an RBI fielder’s choice, and after Hamels was forced from the contest, the Reds continued to pound away at Cubs pitching. Phillip Ervin smacked his first home run of the season in the second inning, and Nick Senzel, Votto, and Iglesias all drove in runs in the fourth inning to give the Reds a 6-0 cushion.
In the seventh inning the Cubs were able to put runs on the board, with Heyward launching a two-run home run to right field and Almora Jr. lifting a sacrifice fly to right to score Addison Russell.
That was as close as the Cubs could get, and ultimately they went down in defeat to continue a recent run of subpar play.
The Cubs will try to even the series on Saturday when they take on the Reds again.