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Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Rapid Reaction: Reds 3, Cubs 2

By Jesse Rogers


CINCINNATI -- The Chicago Cubs lost 3-2 to the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday night. Here’s a quick look at the game:

How it happened: The teams exchanged leads several times before the Reds pushed across the go-ahead run in the bottom of the sixth just before the third rain delay of the game. Jeff Samardzija clearly wasn’t sharp. Leadoff man Billy Hamilton was 3-for-4 with a home run -- the first of his career -- and a walk, while Joey Votto earned a free pass his first three times up. Samardzija was pulled just before the final delay. The Cubs scored their two runs on a two-out, bases-loaded single by Starlin Castro in the third inning before Hamilton tied things up with his home run in the fifth -- just after a 15-minute delay. Samardzija went 5 2/3 innings, giving up eight hits and three runs to go along with four walks.

What it means: Samardzija can’t get a break, and he didn't pitch well enough to earn one. The Cubs' infield defense was stellar, but their outfield can look shaky at times -- save for Emilio Bonifacio. With two outs and none on in the sixth and the game tied at two, Ryan Kalish took a bad route to a ball in right field, allowing extra bases to Zack Cozart. The next batter singled home the winning run. And then the skies opened. Bad pitches, bad routes and no luck added up to another loss for Samardzija. He’s 0-3 despite a 1.98 ERA. He battled but came out on the losing end again.

Renteria ejected: Cubs manager Rick Renteria was ejected for the second time this season for arguing balls and strikes. With Votto at the plate in the sixth inning, Renteria was tossed by plate umpire Alan Porter after Porter called a close pitch by Zac Rosscup a ball. Votto eventually struck out.

Rain delays: There were three -- 19 minutes before the game; 15 minutes after the fourth inning; then the final one for a 71 minutes. It wouldn’t be a shock to hear that the delays hurt Samardzija, but it was the same for both pitchers. Alfredo Simon wasn’t sharp, either, but he gave up one less run.

What’s next: The rain-soaked series concludes on Wednesday evening, when Edwin Jackson (1-2, 5.02 ERA) takes on Tony Cingrani (2-2, 2.86).