Dale Sveum knew his patience would be tested again this season, even after last year’s 101-loss debacle.
But the Chicago Cubs’ first 31 games have been more challenging than anyone could have expected. Sunday’s 7-4 win by the Reds gave them a series sweep over the Cubs.
“I’d be lying. Those are tough losses and we’ve had quite a few of them this year,” Sveum said before Sunday’s game at Wrigley Field.
“Late leads…and whether it’s a mistake in the field or obviously some meltdowns from the bullpen, whatever. I mean, we’ve had some difficult losses 30 games into the season. It’s no fun for anybody. And the players battle, battle, battle and get those leads and all of a sudden they’re gone. I don’t care who you are, it ain’t no fun.”
Edwin Jackson fell to 0-5 with the defeat.
The Reds touched up Jackson for three runs in the fourth inning.
Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips led off with base hits before Jay Bruce drove in Votto with a double to left. Todd Frazier followed with a single to center that scored a pair of runs.
The Reds added a run in the fifth following a leadoff single by Shin-Soo Choo. He stole second as catcher Dioner Navarro’s throw bounced into second base for an error that allowed Choo to advance to third. Zack Cozart then drilled a sacrifice fly to center that scored Choo.
The Cubs rallied in the bottom of the fifth as Starlin Castro reached on a two-out single. Anthony Rizzo also singled before Alfonso Soriano blooped a fly ball to short center. Second baseman Brandon Phillips and centerfielder Choo converged on the ball. The ball caromed off the glove of Phillips and hit Choo in the face as they collided. Both players were down for several minutes as the medical staff checked them out. Both players remained in the game.
Two runs scored for the Cubs on the play that was ruled a double for Soriano. Nate Schierholtz then singled to score Soriano to make it 4-3.
Carlos Marmol took over for Jackson to start the sixth. Jackson was charged with 4 runs on eight hits in five innings. He walked one and struck out five. He had one wild pitch. Marmol pitched a 1-2-3 inning.
The Reds padded their lead off reliever Shawn Camp in the the seventh inning. Pinch-hitter Donald Lutz opened the inning with his first major league hit. He moved to second on a fielder’s choice before Cozart walked. Votto drove in Lutz with a double to right before Phillips drove in Cozart with a sacrifice fly to make it 6-3.