CINCINNATI – There were fireworks that happened to start the ninth inning and then some as it continued on.
Unfortunately, neither were good results for the Cubs in a lost night in Cincinnati on Wednesday.
Manager David Ross was ejected to start the final frame against the Reds, which is a first for the 2022 season, while a late rally by the visitors fell short in a 4-3 win by Cincinnati at Great American Ballpark.
It’s the first loss of the series for the Cubs as they complete the four-game set with the Reds on Thursday afternoon.
The ninth inning drama began in frame before when Rowan Wick threw a high, inside pitch towards Cincinnati first baseman Joey Votto that knocked him off balance and out of the batter’s box. When he reached first base, he began yelling toward Wick and the Cubs’ dugout.
In the top of the ninth, Reds reliever Hunter Strickland hit Patrick Wisdom on the arm with one out, which brought Ross out of the dugout to argue. He was quickly ejected by home plate umpire Dan Merzel, a first for the manager this season.
It’s the sixth career ejection for Ross, who was thrown out of one game in 2020 and four during the 2021 season.
Down by two runs, the Cubs were as feisty as their manager in trying to get the game to even. After Wisdom was hit and Alfonso Rivas walked, Willson Contreras nearly tied the game with a long drive to right-center field. But Nick Senzel was able to track the ball down at the wall with Wisdom advancing to third.
Nico Hoerner, who was just activated off the IL, then got the Cubs a run closer with an RBI single that put Jonathan Villar, who pinch-ran for Rivas, on third. But Strickland would strike out Christopher Morel to end the game.