Chicago Cubs Score and Recap (Simulated Game 61): Cubs 3, Reds 5 – Cincinnati Avoids Dreaded Four-Game Sweep

The Chicago Cubs (40-21) played very well against the Cincinnati Reds (38-22) in their four-game set at Wrigley Field, but they couldn’t pull off a sweep. Instead, the Cubs lost on 5-3 to Cincinnati on Monday, but won three-of-four in the series overall, via MLB The Show 20.

The game starting promisingly for Yu Darvish and the Cubs as they got on the board in the bottom of the 1st when Nico Hoerner reached on a rare error by first baseman Joey Votto. He then stole second base, went to third on a hard single to right field by Kyle Schwarber, and scored on sacrifice fly by Anthony Rizzo.

The Cubs wouldn’t be ahead for long because Darvish gave up a solo-homer to Eugenio Suárez leading off the 2nd. In the bottom of that same inning, Victor Caratini lifted a fly ball into the wind in right field and it carried right into the basket, bringing Jason Heyward around to score on a two-run home run. That gave Darvish a 3-1 lead, but it wasn’t meant to be.

Darvish walked the bases loaded with one out in the 3rd and former Cub Nicholas Castellanos got him with a three-run double into the gap in left-center. That gave the Reds a 4-3 lead and effectively ended Darvish’s day. He went four innings and surrendered only two hits with five strikeouts, but five walks led to four earned runs.

The Reds scored their final run in the 5th against reliever Jharel Cotton when Suárez hit his second round-tripper of the day to put them ahead 5-3. The Cubs sputtered against the Reds bullpen after knocking starter Tyler Mahle out after four innings, going scoreless over the following five. The Cincinnati relief corps totaled three hits allowed, one walk, and four strikeouts.

There was a #FakeRally in the 9th against Raisel Iglesias when Heyward started the inning with a single up the middle and he moved to second when a floater off the bat of Caratini dropped safely in right field. That brought up Kris Bryant as a pinch-hitter, batting with two on and nobody out. He hit a fly moderately deep to Castellanos, who fired a rocket to nail Heyward attempting to move up to third.

The baserunning blunder left Caratini standing at first with two outs, at which point Hoerner struck out to end the game.

Notes: Pedro Strop made an appearance in the 8th for the Reds, allowing a single to Willson Contreras but striking out two batters in a scoreless inning … The loss brings the Cubs’ six-game winning streak to an end, but they’re still 9-3 in their last 12 … After a two-game series with the Baltimore Orioles at Wrigley Field starting Tuesday, the Cubs will travel to Cincinnati to play the Reds in another four-game series.

Key Players:

Caratini – 2-for-4, HR, 2 RBI
Heyward – 2-for-3, BB
Suárez – 2-for-4, 2 HR, 2 RBI
Castellanos – 3-for-5, 2 2B, 3 RBI
Barnhart – 2-for-4, 3B

Winning Pitcher – De León (3-4)
Losing Pitcher – Darvish (6-3)
Save – Iglesias (13)
Home Runs – Caratini (6), Suárez 2 (20)

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