Cubs, Wood blank Reds
CHICAGO (AP) — This time, Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Jason Marquis couldn’t recover from a tough opening.
Marquis was in trouble from the outset, allowing five runs, four earned, on seven hits in four innings in the Cincinnati Reds’ 5-0 loss Wednesday night to the Chicago Cubs. During his first start, a 5-4 Reds win over the St. Louis Cardinals on April 10, Marquis (0-1) gave up three runs over the first two innings but recovered to last six innings.
He wasn’t able to do that against the Cubs as Cincinnati lost for the fourth time in five games.
“He just wasn’t as sharp as he was before,” Reds manager Bryan Price said. “He had good action on his ball, he just didn’t command it as well.”
Leadoff hitter Dexter Fowler began the bottom of the first with a double and the next batter, Anthony Rizzo, homered into the right-field bleachers that are still under construction for a 2-0 lead.
The Cubs added two more in the second. Jonathan Herrera singled in a run and the other run scored when Jorge Soler, after Rizzo was intentionally walked, was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.
The Cubs stretched the lead to 5-0 in the fourth on a bases-loaded sacrifice fly by Miguel Montero.
“It’s tough putting the team (in) a hole like that,” Marquis said. “Unfortunately backed into too big of a corner this time.”
That support was plenty for former Reds pitcher Travis Wood (1-1), who retired the first 10 batters and allowed only one runner to reach second base in the first seven innings.
“As pitchers go, you could kind of label him as a dirtbag,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “I kind of love that phrase when you’re talking about a good baseball player.”
Wood walked two and struck out seven, helping the Cubs win two of three games in the series and move back into first place in the National League Central.
“It was a good one tonight,” Wood said. “I was able to keep them off-balance, get some early outs, pound the zone and go deep in the ballgame. Our offense did their job and scored some runs early.”
Marquis couldn’t match Wood, extending the Reds’ recent struggles. Marquis, however, was confident the Reds would recover.
“We’ve got a good enough team to weather the storm and make adjustments and play some good baseball,” Marquis said.
ALL ABOUT BRYANT
Maddon said he hasn’t been given a date for when prized prospect Kris Bryant will make his major-league debut. Maddon said the decision about where Bryant will play — either third base or left field — will be his call, but “I definitely like to accumulate data.”
A NEEDED BREATHER
The season isn’t two weeks old but Price thinks Thursday’s day off will be good for the Reds, who have dealt with rain delays and a lot of work from their bullpen. “I think it’s good timing,” Price said.
Cincinnati recalled RHP Pedro Villarreal from Triple-A Louisville and optioned RHP Josh Smith to Triple-A.
REDS: RHP Homer Bailey (right forearm) threw a bullpen session and is expected to start Saturday against the St. Louis Cardinals. … C Devin Mesoraco (left hip) remained in Cincinnati and missed his third consecutive game. Price said the team would evaluate him Thursday and didn’t rule out putting the catcher on the disabled list. … One night after leaving due to “lightheadedness,” 2B Brandon Phillips was in the Reds lineup.
CUBS: 3B Mike Olt (right wrist) didn’t start. He was hit by a pitch last weekend against the Colorado Rockies. … RHP Neil Ramirez left in the ninth with right shoulder discomfort.
Reds: start a three-game series Friday in St. Louis. Johnny Cueto (0-1, 0.64) faces Michael Wacha (1-0, 1.42) and a Cardinals team that he allowed five earned runs to in 20 innings last year.
Cubs: start a series Friday against San Diego. Jason Hammel (1-0, 4.50) faces San Diego’s James Shields (1-0, 2.08), who pitched for Maddon in Tampa Bay.