The Cincinnati Reds avoided a sweep in Chicago on Sunday as they rode a good start from Tyler Mahle and some early offense against Jake Arrieta – including another blast from Eugenio Suárez – to win 5-1 over the Cubs.
|Cincinnati Reds (23-28)
|Chicago Cubs (29-23)
|W: Mahle (4-2) L: Arrieta (5-5) SV: Antone (3)
|Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread
Cincinnati didn’t take long to get the offense going on Sunday. Jesse Winker singled with one out and Nick Castellanos extended his hitting streak to 16 games with a single of his own. Tyler Stephenson worked a 10-pitch walk to load the bases. That set up a sacrifice fly by Tyler Naquin to get on the board. Kyle Farmer reached on a fielders choice that initially was called a force out at second that would have ended the inning, but the call was overturned on replay review to load the bases once again. Tucker Barnhart was hit by a Jake Arrieta pitch to bring in a run and make it 2-0. Jonathan India capped the inning off with an infield single that made it 3-0. Tyler Mahle struck out to end the inning as the team hit around.
The Reds played add on in the top of the 4th inning when Eugenio Suárez crushed his 12th home run of the season to begin the inning. The ball landed somewhere in Lake Michigan (ok, it only went 433 feet, so not quite to the lake). A 2-out error by the Cubs came back to haunt them as Tyler Stephenson reached on a throwing error. A wild pitch moved him up to second base and he would score on a Tyler Naquin single that made it a 5-0 Cincinnati lead and also ended the day for Jake Arrieta.
The Cubs bullpen did what they had been doing for most of the month of May – shut down the opposition. Cincinnati didn’t score again once Arrieta left the game and held the Reds to just one hit and two walks over the final 5.1 innings of the game.
Tyler Mahle was feeling great early on. The Reds starter took a perfect game into the 5th inning, but a leadoff walk shut that down. A Willson Contreras single followed to end the no-hit bid, too. But Mahle got the job done as he struck out the next three batters to get out of the inning unscathed and hold onto the 1-hit shutout. The inning did run up his pitch count, though, and after 98 pitches he was replaced in the bottom of the 6th inning by Amir Garrett. He had a 1-2-3 inning that worked around a walk of Joc Pederson thanks to a ground ball double play from Kris Bryant.
Lucas Sims took over for the bottom of the 7th inning and he fired a hitless inning with a walk and two strikeouts. David Bell turned to Cionel Pérez for the 8th inning. The lefty allowed a single to lead off the inning, but an Eric Sogard double play erased the runner. But Pérez then gave up a walk and back-to-back singles to make it a 5-1 game before Cincinnati turned to the bullpen once again to bring in Tejay Antone to try and hold onto a lead. He did so for the time being as he induced a ground out to second base to end the Cubs threat in the 8th. In the 9th Antone returned and made quick work of Chicago with a ground out, a strikeout, and a ground out to pick up his third save of the season.
Notes Worth Noting
The homer by Eugenio’s Suárez broke a tie with Mike Trout for most home runs since the start of the 2018 season. The Reds third baseman now holds a 110 to 109 edge.
Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds
Philadelphia Phillies vs Cincinnati Reds
Monday May 31st, 2:10pm ET
Vince Velasquez (2-0, 2.95) vs Wade Miley (4-4, 3.50)