Friday, August 10, 2012

Reds snap season-high losing skid, win a wild one in Chicago

The victory was hard earned indeed

As losers of five straight games entering their contest with the Cubs (44-67) on Friday, the visiting Redlegs (66-46) were in desperate need of a win. Well, it wasn't pretty but a win is exactly what they got by edging out the Cubbies, 10-8, in a wild one at Wrigley Field.

Chicago drew first blood after scratching a run across in the opening inning thanks to a fielder's choice by Alfonso Soriano that scored David DeJesus.

The Reds quickly answered though, with two runs of their own in the top half of the second. Todd Frazier's 18th double of the season brought home Ryan Ludwick and three batters later Frazier came around to score off of an RBI-single by Homer Bailey. Thus, making it 2-1 in favor of the Reds.

Cincy padded their lead with three more in the top of the third -- two of which came when Ludwick blasted his 20th round-tripper of the year scoring both himself and Brandon Phillips as well. Xavier Paul later scored when Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro was charged with an error on a ball hit by Devin Mesoraco. The miscue was no. 18 on the campaign for the error-prone infielder.

The Cubbies came right back and cut the lead in half during the bottom of the frame after Soriano's 25th two-bagger of 2012 plated Darwin Barney and Anthony Rizzo.

The score remained 5-3 until the sixth when the Reds sent three men around the base paths to push their lead to five. A couple of errors by the home team and a timely 2-run single by Frazier fueled the rally.

Chicago managed to get one of these runs back in the bottom half of the sixth when Jose Vitters scored on a double by Welington Castillo. They got two more in the seventh when Castro doubled off the ivy in left to cut the lead to 8-6.

The Reds added an insurance run in the eighth thanks to an RBI-single by Frazier to make it 9-6.

The Cubbies got that run back in the bottom half on the strength of an RBI-double by Castillo. And then one more thanks to a run-scoring double by DeJesus.

That made the score 9-8 before Zack Cozart doubled Ryan Hanigan home in the ninth to push it to 10-8. And that's how the final score read as Aroldis Chapman closed out the game to nail down his 26th save and the victory.

As usual, here's a breakdown of the good, bad and notables from Wrigley:

The Good:
+ The Reds WIN! The Reds WIN! The Reds WIN! For the first time in nearly a week. The season-high losing skid is over.
+ Bailey wasn't on top of his game by an stretch of the imagination today, but he did enough to earn his 10th win of the year. He hung in there for 5.2 innings in which he allowed nine hits and four runs while striking out five and walking two.
+ Every Red in the starting lineup collected at least one hit.
+ Ludwick had three hits, scored three times, and knocked in a pair (60). He also drew a walk. What an offseason addition he's turned out to be.
+ Not to be outdone by his teammate, Frazier also notched three hits while driving in four runs (47).

The Bad:
+ The Cubs committed FIVE errors. I know that's not exactly a bad thing from a Reds point-of-view, but that's really bad, folks. And something I'd feel remissed about if I didn't include in this recap.
+ The bullpen has been uncharacteristically shaky in the past several games. Things got a little hairy in the seventh when Sam LeCure and Sean Marshall pitched in relief. Jonathan Broxton surrendered a couple of run in his relief appearance as well.

The Notables:
+ Cincinnati is now 17-8 since Joey Votto went on the disabled list.
+ CIN leads the season series, 4-3. Their magic number now sits at 48.
+ The Reds are undefeated in their last 14 games played on either a Friday or Saturday.
+ Up next: The division rivals will partake in another matinee affair on Saturday. Bronson Arroyo (7-7, 4.05) toes the rubber for the visiting Redlegs and will oppose former Red Travis Wood (4-8, 4.77). It's all set to get underway at 4:05et.

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