Reds beat up by Cubs
A few items of note following a 9-4 Reds loss to the Cubs.
*Tony Cingrani lasted only four innings and said he felt fatigued. However, the left-hander said there was no health issues. He allowed three runs, including Anthony Rizzo’s two-run homer. More on Cingrani will be up soon in my game story on MLB.com/Reds.com.
*The Reds finished April with a 12-15 record and are 7 1/2 games behind the first-place Brewers, their foe for the next four-game series.
*Bryan Price said the Reds would run more this season than in past years and it’s certainly been backed up. Jay Bruce notched his fifth stolen base of the season in the third inning when he took second base with two outs. Bruce had seven steals for all of 2013. Entering the night, the Reds’ 26 steals were second-most in the Majors behind the Dodgers’ 27.
*Billy Hamilton, of course, did his own stealing. In the fifth inning, Hamilton stole third base and came in standing up as there was no throw from catcher Wellington Castillo.
*The defense committed two errors. The Reds still have the fewest errors in the NL with 11 and hadn’t made an error in six-straight games until Wednesday.
“It’s going to happen,” third baseman Todd Frazier said. “We’re still one of the best defensive teams. The good thing about baseball is we come back tomorrow. We don’t have wait seven days to play a game.”
*Brayan Pena hit his first homer for the Reds with a leadoff shot to right field in the second inning. It was Pena’s first homer since 8/11/13 for the Tigers vs. the Yankees.
*It wasn’t a good night for the bullpen. The two go-ahead runs scored in the fifth against Nick Christiani, who got the loss. The Cubs piled on with four runs off Sean Marshall in the top of the ninth. Marshall faced eight batters and saw five of them reach safely on four hits.
“They did some good things, fought off some good pitches and hit some mistakes,” Price said of Marshall’s outing. “And they battled against him. He’s not in midseason shape yet. We’ve got to give him some time. You hate to see him battle as he had to get his outs. That’s who he is. He’ll find his way.”
*On the bright side for the bullpen, J.J. Hoover gave up a two-out double but worked two scoreless innings with four strikeouts.