Friday, May 24, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Reds 7, Cubs 4
By Mark Schmetzer
Special to ESPNChicago.com
CINCINNATI – Here's a quick look at the Chicago Cubs' 7-4 loss to the Cincinnati Reds on Friday at Great American Ball Park.
How it happened: Scott Feldman strengthened the case against the designated hitter, but it didn't help him overcome a disastrous fourth inning. After needing just 34 pitches to negotiate the first three innings, the right-hander threw 40 in Cincinnati's five-run fourth. Joey Votto hit a one-out solo home run to extend his hitting streak to 13 games and Ryan Hanigan smacked Feldman's 35th pitch of the inning into the left-field seats for a three-run, go-ahead blast. Feldman, who made a total of five plate appearances while spending all or part of the previous eight seasons with the Texas Rangers, capped the Cubs' three-run second inning with his first career home run, a 366-foot shot into the right-field seats on a full count with two outs. Luis Valbuena had been hitless in nine at-bats before doubling with one out and scoring Chicago's first run on Darwin Barney's sacrifice fly. Valbuena added an RBI single in the eighth, but Brandon Phillips added insurance with a two-run homer off of Hector Rondon in the bottom of the inning.
What it means: The Cubs' losing streak reached a season-high five games, and they slipped a season-worst 11 games below .500. Feldman's personal winning streak was snapped at four over his previous five starts.
Outside the box: Feldman's home run was the Cubs' first on the road in almost a month. Chicago hadn't hit a home run in six games covering two series since Dioner Navarro's solo shot in the ninth inning of the Cubs' 6-4 loss on April 28 at Miami.
Up next: Left-hander Travis Wood (4-2, 2.24 ERA) will try to snap the Cubs' losing streak and extend the personal streak of quality starts with which he has opened the season to 10 in a 3:10 p.m. CT game at his former home field, Great American Ball Park. Right-hander Homer Bailey (2-3, 3.09 ERA) is Cincinnati's scheduled starter. He is 5-2 with a 5.12 ERA in 10 career starts against Chicago.