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Starlin Castro's gaffe caps error-filled night

CINCINNATI -- The Chicago Cubs were already well on their way to putting together one of their less-polished performances in some time before Starlin Castro forgot to run.

Javier Baez was on second base in the top of the eighth with nobody out and Chicago trailing the Cincinnati Reds 6-4, when the Cubs shortstop launched a drive that ended up getting over center fielder Billy Hamilton’s head and off the center-field wall.

Castro, at first, believed the ball was going over the wall and watched in admiration while walking out of the batter’s box. That led to him ending up with a long single. Baez, who had to hold at second in case Hamilton caught the ball, ended up at third.

Castro, playing in his second game after coming off the bereavement list, immediately knew he’d made a mistake, according to Cubs manager Rick Renteria.

“I felt bad for him,” Renteria said. “He was apologizing to everybody. He knew he should have been [on second base]. He’s got a lot on his mind. When a young man tells you he made a mistake, what can you say?”

That wasn’t the Cubs’ first blunder of the night.

Cubs fielders had committed just six errors in 881 chances over their previous 23 games since Aug. 2, a .993 fielding percentage that led the majors in that span of time. They committed three in the game, two in a span of two batters -- the first by Castro, the second by third baseman Luis Valbuena at third -- in the fourth.

“That wasn’t one of our best ballgames, obviously, but the guys kept battling,” Renteria said.

The errors forced starting pitcher Jacob Turner to reach his pitch-count ceiling earlier than anybody with the Cubs wanted to see. He needed 66 to get two outs into the fourth inning, the shortest of his 13 starts this season.

"I would've liked to have gone a little deeper," said Turner, who made 12 starts for the Miami Marlins before being traded to Chicago. "That part is frustrating. I've got to get my pitch count up. I just didn't make a few pitches when I needed to."