CHICAGO – It was setting up as a pitcher’s duel, and that wasn’t a bad thing for the Cubs and a young pitcher who’s been a bright spot in 2022.

Keegan Thompson pitched shutout ball through five innings, matching Luis Castillo’s effort for the Reds at Wrigley Field. But eventually, things got away from the young hurler along with his bullpen replacement, and it sent the Cubs to defeat.

Thompson allowed two runs in the sixth inning then allowed two runners to reach before getting pulled with one out in the seventh. After that, reliever Rowan Wick surrendered a three-run homer to Jonathan India which was the difference in a 5-3 Cincinnati victory to begin the three-game set at Wrigley Field.

The Cubs’ three runs in the bottom half of the seventh weren’t enough to save the bad stretch of pitching in the sixth and seventh as they fall to 28-46 on the season.

Thompson’s four earned runs on the evening were the most he’s allowed in what has been a strong 2022 season in which he entered the game at 7-2 and had an ERA of 3.10. He still finished with eight strikeouts without a walk but was doomed by the last 1 1/3 innings in which he allowed the five hits and was charged with four runs.

Along with taking his third loss of the season, Thompson’s ERA also rose to 3.34 on the season.

While the Cubs’ bullpen kept the Reds off the scoreboard the rest of the game, the Cubs’ offense couldn’t respond in the last two innings. A runner reached in each frame, but they never got a run across the plate, as two bad innings of pitching led to a loss.