Anthony Rizzo pitches as Cubs get blown out by Braves


by - Senior Writer -
Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

ATLANTA — While Anthony Rizzo striking out Freddie Freeman in a battle of first baseman made for a fun moment, the disastrous performance that led to a position player pitching for the Chicago Cubs (10-14) in the seventh inning overshadowed the light-hearted strikeout. The Cubs suffered their second straight shutout loss at the hands of the Atlanta Braves (12-12) and have now been shut out three times in their last four games. The 10-0 defeat at Truist Park marked the fifth straight loss for the North Siders.

Kyle Hendricks' early-inning struggles continued when he gave up two home runs in the first frame. A two-run dinger, which plated Freeman, by Marcell Ozuna put the Braves up 2-0, and a two-run jack, which plated Ozzie Albies, by Austin Riley increased Atlanta's lead to 4-0. Jake Marisnick tripled with two outs in the top of the second but did not score. Freeman hit a two-run double in the bottom of the second, scoring Huascar Ynoa and Ronald Acuna Jr., who hustled all the way around from first. The Cubs placed runners on the corners with two outs in the third, but a groundout left them stranded.

Ynoa, who fanned nine a 5 1/3-inning start on the mound, led off the bottom of the fourth with a solo shot to left. Alec Mills relieved Hendricks with two men on and the Cubs trailing 7-0 and subsequently drew an inning-ending lineout. Guillermo Heredia doubled home Riley in the fifth, with Mills giving up the RBI two-bagger. Ynoa was pulled with a pair of runners on base in the sixth. The Cubs went on to sport men on second and third with two outs, when a strikeout ended the half-inning.

Freeman lead off the bottom of the sixth with a solo shot to right, and Albies followed suit with another solo tater to right a few at-bats later. Mills remained in the game, though, and pitched the remainder of the inning. In the top of the seventh, Nico Hoerner reached due to a throwing error and eventually took third on a wild pitch, but the Cubs remained scoreless. Rizzo and Matt Duffy combined to pitch a scoreless bottom half of the seventh, in which Rizzo drew a groundout, issued a walk and struck out Freeman, a close friend of his. Eric Sogard went on toss a scoreless eighth, drawing an inning-ending flyout with the bases loaded, and the Cubs' 10-0 loss to the Braves ended soon afterward.

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