Renteria lauds ump crew despite ejection

CINCINNATI -- Chicago Cubs manager Rick Renteria was thrown out of Wednesday night’s 4-1 loss to the Cincinnati Reds during the deciding three-run bottom of the fifth inning when he argued a foul-ball call down the third-base line.

It was the fifth ejection of the season for the first-year Cubs skipper. This time, third-base umpire Andy Fletcher got him.

"That poor guy," Renteria said. "He had no chance with me today. It happens. Do I like getting ejected? No, I don’t like getting ejected. [But] it happens."

Renteria stormed out of the dugout following Reds catcher Devin Mesoraco’s tapper down the third-base line with two outs, two on and three runs already in. The ball was just foul, but third baseman Luis Valbuena fielded the grounder and tagged third for what he thought was an inning-ending force out.

The play was not reviewable, but Valbuena thought he got the ball in fair territory.

"When my player feels he’s got a call, I think at that point, as a manager, I’ve got to talk to them," Renteria said. "But listen, they’re doing a great job. With all the different things and nuances they have to cover, he was more than patient enough."

Mesoraco grounded out to Valbuena moments later to end the inning.

Rizzo leads All-Star Final Vote: First baseman Anthony Rizzo moved into first place in voting for the final National League All-Star spot Wednesday.

"Right before the game, I found out," Rizzo said. "It’s really cool. I’m going to keep my fingers crossed that the fans keep going. I’m really appreciative for all of it. We’ll see what happens."

Renteria has been voting as well.

"Oh yeah, I’ve voted," Renteria said. "Yes, I did."

Rizzo accounted for the Cubs' only run Wednesday with his 20th home run of the season, a towering shot down the line in right on a 2-0 pitch. The blast tied the game at one, but Chicago never got another runner as far as second base, and Reds starter Alfredo Simon retired the next 13 Cubs hitters.

"We’re struggling to score runs," Rizzo said. "You just have to keep grinding at-bats out. We’ve run into a few good pitchers too. It doesn’t help, but you have to keep going. It’s a low point for the team, but we have to keep going and grind it out."