CHICAGO (AP) The Cincinnati Reds needed something to go right. On Tuesday, starter Anthony DeSclafani made sure enough went their way to end a three-game losing streak.
DeSclafani threw seven scoreless innings, Joey Votto had two hits and drove in a run, and the Reds held on to beat the Chicago Cubs 3-2 on Tuesday night.
DeSclafani gave up two hits while striking out five for the Reds. Acquired this offseason as part of the trade that sent former ace Mat Latos to the Miami Marlins, DeSclafani (1-0) earned his first victory for Cincinnati and impressed manager Bryan Price.
Article continues below ...
”Very much so, because here’s a rookie coming in with this team on a three-game skid where let some leads get away,” Price said.
DeSclafani was replaced in the eighth by former Cubs closer Kevin Gregg, who walked Matt Szczur before allowing pinch-hitter Welington Castillo’s two-run home run. Gregg was replaced by Tony Cingrani, who allowed a two-out single to Anthony Rizzo and a walk to Jorge Soler before striking out Chris Coghlan to end the threat.
”If we keep giving that kind of effort, I’ll be very happy,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said.
In the ninth, Aroldis Chapman gave up a Starlin Castro leadoff single and a one-out walk to Szczur but struck out David Ross and Mike Olt to convert his third save in three tries.
DeSclafani and the Reds got the win thanks in part to an offense that scored three runs in the fourth against Jake Arrieta (1-1), who dominated Cincinnati last season. Arrieta took no-hitters into the seventh inning twice against the Reds in 2014 but didn’t match that Tuesday. He went 6 2-3 innings and allowed three runs and seven hits while striking out five and allowed an earned run for the first time since Sept. 9.
That wasn’t enough to help the Cubs win their fourth straight one night after moving two games above .500 for the first time since the end of the 2009 season.
”We were right there,” Arrieta said.
Billy Hamilton, back in the lineup after missing Monday’s game due to general soreness, led off the Reds’ three-run fourth with a single, stole second and scored on Votto’s single. Cincinnati doubled its lead on a bizarre play that started with Jay Bruce singling to left to drive in Todd Frazier, but saw Castro race to try to cover third and fall on Brandon Phillips before getting up and picking off Bruce who had strayed too far off first.
The Reds capped the fourth-inning scoring when Marlon Byrd drove in Phillips, giving DeSclafani enough support for the win.
”It’s good to get a win under our belt,” DeSclafani said.
Reds: C Devin Mesoraco was out because of his ailing left hip, and Price said there isn’t any consideration to put him on the disabled list ”at this point.” … Price said RHP Homer Bailey (right forearm) will throw a bullpen session Wednesday and is scheduled to make his season debut Saturday against the St. Louis Cardinals. … Phillips was replaced in the fifth by Skip Schumaker due to ”lightheadedness” and Price said his second baseman passed a concussion test.
Cubs: INF Tommy La Stella (right rib cage inflammation) was placed on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to April 9, and Chicago recalled LHP Zac Rosscup from Triple-A Iowa.
The series finale on Wednesday night pits the Reds’ Jason Marquis (0-0, 4.50) against the Cubs’ Travis Wood (0-1,5.79). Both starters will be facing their former teams. Marquis went 23-18 in 65 starts with Chicago in the 2007 and 2008 seasons, while Wood was 11-10 in 35 starts with Cincinnati during the 2010 and 2011 seasons.
DeSclafani made a strong play for the first out in the fifth on a sharp Castro grounder up the middle. DeSclafani attempted to reach behind his back to grab the grounder but lost his glove in the process. The Reds pitcher still had time to run a few feet off the mound to grab the ball and throw out Castro.
The Cubs have 13 pitchers, though Maddon and president Theo Epstein didn’t discount the possibility of adding an infielder for Friday’s game against the San Diego Padres. Could that infielder be hyped prospect Kris Bryant? ”It depends on what’s happening with the roster, what’s happening with his development,” Epstein said. ”We don’t know yet.”