Cubs hit homers but fall to the Reds
|Saturday, July 1, 2017, 7:13 PM- -|
CINCINNATI -- The Cubs continue to score on the home run ball and now much else this season as the Northsiders lose a frustrating game 5-3 to the Reds on Saturday afternoon. The Cubs are now a mediocre 40-41 through 81 games on the season after winning the 2016 World Series.
The dependable veteran outfielder Jon Jay started things off promising as he hit his first homer with the ballclub over the right field fence in the third inning to put the Cubs up 1-0. Jay saw an impressive 15 pitches during the at-bat before hitting the homer. The homer ended a streak of 328 at-bat homerless streak with Jay according to ESPN Stats and Info.
Another interesting statistic is that the Cubs now have 21 homers at the leadoff position this year which is the most of any lineup spot with the team.
Young catcher Willson Contreras showed off his muscle later in the inning with a 442-foot, two-run no-doubter homer to left centerfield that scored Anthony Rizzo to put the Cubs up 3-0. The home run was his 10th of the season.
However, the The Cubs would not have the lead for long as they have done what they continue to do this season, give up the big inning early on with a starting pitcher. Today, Eddie Butler was cruising along through three innings but then gave up four runs in a woeful fourth inning. During the inning, Adam Duvall doubled on a line drive to score Scooter Gennett, Tucker Barnhardt walked with the bases loaded, and pitcher Jackson Stephens had a two-run single to really put the dagger in for the Cubs in his first major league game.
Stephens is the first Reds pitcher with two RBI in his major league debut since June 1977 according to Elias. It was a big day for Stephens as he got his first hit, first RBI, and first MLB win all in one day.
Cubs fifth starter Eddie Butler took the loss working only 3.2 innings giving up five hits, four runs, three walks, and two strikeouts to increase his season ERA to 4.18. The Cubs bullpen tried to keep the team in the game as they gave up only one run the rest of the game. The score happened when Adam Duvall grounded into a double play with the bases loaded to score speedster Billy Hamilton in the seventh inning to add an insurance run for the Reds at 5-3.
Cubs veteran outfielder Ben Zobrist was activated on Saturday and was able to pinch-hit in the eighth inning in a critical role with two men on but grounded out to end the threat in the eighth inning. Rookie Jeimer Candelario also returned to the lineup in a pinch-hitting role after being injured recently on a 99 MPH fastball on his kneecap.
The Cubs went down softly in the ninth inning with three consecutive ground outs starting with Javier Baez, then Tommy La Stella, and then the final out by rookie catcher Victor Caratini.
The Cubs announced after the game that outfielder Jason Heyward will do a rehab assignment in South Bend on Sunday.