Cubs 4, Reds 2(10)
Starting pitcher Carlos Villanueva raised his arm toward a
clubhouse attendant and twisted his hand, asking him to turn down
the blaring music so he could hear reporters’ questions.
At least there was music.
The Chicago Cubs blew another late lead Tuesday night, but found
a way to recover. Carlos Marmol gave up the tying run in the ninth
before Darwin Barney bailed him out with a homer in the 10th inning
for a 4-2 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.
For once, the Cubs could celebrate the ending of a close
”We’ve got music on,” Villanueva said. ”That’s a good
Usually, close games end up badly for the Cubs.
They blew a two-run lead in the 13th inning of a 5-4 loss on
Monday night. A day later, Villanueva turned a 2-1 lead over to the
bullpen with one out in the ninth and Shin-Soo Choo on second
Marmol, who lost the closer’s job after a rough first week, has
pitched well in non-save appearances. Manager Dale Sveum said
before the game he’s been impressed by the performance, but wasn’t
ready to make Marmol the full-time closer just yet.
Instead, he was going to go by pitcher-batter matchups to finish
games. He had one of the best ones in his favor in the ninth.
Joey Votto was 1 for 15 career against Marmol with nine
strikeouts when he came to the plate. This time, he singled up the
middle, scoring Choo to tie it at 2.
”Those numbers don’t lie,” Sveum said of Votto’s struggles
against Marmol. ”He got the ground ball. It’s like, `Really? He
can’t hit it at somebody? You’re kidding me.”’
Marmol (2-1) then escaped a bases-loaded threat to keep it
”The ninth inning was big,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said.
”I’ve said that a lot of times if you don’t come all the way back,
it usually doesn’t work out for you.”
The Cubs’ slumping second baseman put them in position to enjoy
some postgame music.
Barney missed the first two weeks of the season after needing
five stiches to close a cut on his left knee. He was only 3 for 26
without an RBI before he connected in the 10th off left-hander
Manny Parra (0-1).
”I wouldn’t say I needed that,” said Barney, who slapped his
hands together as he rounded the bases. ”I think our team needed
that win. Obviously it was nice to get an RBI.”
Dave Sappelt added an RBI single off Parra. Kevin Gregg fanned
Votto with two aboard in the 10th to get his first save and end the
Cubs’ four-game losing streak.
Chicago won for only the second time in its last nine games. The
Cubs are last in the NL Central at 6-13.
Starlin Castro went 0 for 4, ending the major leagues’ longest
hitting streak at 14 games.
The Reds lost for only the second time in nine games on a
homestand that concludes Wednesday. Long games are their norm –
they’ve already gone extra innings five times at Great American
Ball Park and had another game suspended overnight by rain.
The Cubs scored their first two runs off left-hander Tony
Cingrani, who struck out nine in his second start in the majors.
Cingrani was called up to replace Johnny Cueto, out with a pulled
muscle in his back.
Scott Hairston had a sacrifice fly in the second. Cody Ransom,
claimed off waivers from San Diego on April 16, finally got into a
game for the Cubs and delivered on his first swing. He started at
third base and hit a solo shot on the first pitch from Cingrani for
a 2-0 lead.
Ransom made a nice play to help Villanueva escape a two-on
threat in the seventh, turning Todd Frazier’s grounder into a
third-to-first double play. He also threw out catcher Corky Miller
from foul territory after grabbing his grounder down the line in
The Cubs wasted a chance in the sixth, when Sappelt tried to
score from third against a drawn-in infield. Second baseman Brandon
Phillips got to Anthony Rizzo’s grounder and threw home from his
knees. Miller blocked the plate with his left shin guard and tagged
NOTES: Reds reliever Jonathan Broxton said his right hand – hit
by a line drive on Monday night – had recovered and he was
available to pitch. … LH reliever Sean Marshall played catch on
Tuesday, a day after he started his rehab stint by throwing one
inning for Triple-A Louisville. Marshall, disabled by shoulder
tendinitis, said he felt fine a day after his outing. … The last
Cubs player to homer in his first at-bat with Chicago was Castro on
May 7, 2010, also in Cincinnati.
Follow Joe Kay on Twitter: http://twitter.com/apjoekay