CINCINNATI — The start of the second game of a doubleheader between the Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds was delayed by 35 minutes because of threatening weather.
After pitching in 210 games for the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks of the Japanese Pacific League and 37 minor league games over the past three seasons, 33-year-old Tsuyoshi Wada will have to wait longer for his first major league win despite pitching five innings of five-hit ball in his major league debut.
Despite Wada’s performance, the Cubs’ bullpen suffered one of its biggest collective meltdowns as the Reds scored five runs in the final four innings for a 6-5 win and seize a sweep of a split doubleheader.
The loss extended the Cubs’ losing streak to five games – all occurring after the trade of Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel.
Pinch hitter Brayan Pena led off the ninth with a single that fell between third baseman Luis Valbuena, shortstop Starlin Castro and left fielder Chris Coghlan nearly the left field line off closer Hector Rondon.
Devon Mesoraco followed with a single down the left field line, and Billy Hamilton hit a broken bat single down the left field line to score the winning run.
Brian Schlitter, working his second game of the day, allowed a run in the sixth. Wesley Wright and Carlos Villanueva issued three consecutive walks to start the seventh that led to two runs, and Jay Bruce hit a double that rolled past Coghlan to score Brandon Phillips with the tying run in the eighth.
Wada allowed only five hits in five innings, and the only run he allowed occurred as the result of an error charged to center fielder Junior Lake in the fifth. Wada walked one and struck out three in an 87-pitch effort.
Coghlan hit his second home run in as many game – a two-run shot in the second inning off left-hander David Holmberg – to extend his hitting streak to seven games.
Anthony Rizzo followed with a solo shot – his 19th of the season and second in three games – off Holmberg in the top of the third. Mike Olt followed later with a two-run home run.
But the Cubs stranded runners in scoring position in the fourth, sixth and seventh.
Wada worked out of a jam in the second by leaping to field a grounder by Tucker Barnhart for the final out.
Wada earned the brief promotion on the basis of his 9-5 record and 2.66 ERA in 17 games at Triple-A Iowa and struck out 105 in 101 2/3 innings. He underwent reconstructive left elbow surgery in May of 2012 while pitching in the Baltimore Orioles’ organization.
Wada had an 8.38 ERA in four appearances in spring training with the Cubs.