<
>

Rapid Reaction: Reds 5, Cubs 4 (10 innings)

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Cubs lost to the Cincinnati Reds, 5-4, in 10 innings on Friday afternoon. Here’s a quick look at the game:

How it happened: Eugenio Suarez singled through a drawn in infield in the top of the tenth to drive home the winning run after Kris Bryant opened the inning with an error at third base. An inning earlier Jay Bruce made a game-saving catch off the bat of pinch hitter Jonathan Herrera to help send the game to extras. Starlin Castro tied the game at 4-4 with a 2-run home run off Reds starter Johnny Cueto in the sixth inning after the Cubs got down 3-0 in the first. An Addison Russell error to start the game was followed by doubles by Ivan De Jesus Jr. and Todd Frazier plus a Brayan Pena single off Jason Hammel. The Cubs got two back in the second when Hammel singled home Chris Coghlan. Russell then doubled Hammel home. Hammel wasn’t as sharp as he normally has been but neither was Cueto, though he pitched longer than his counterpart, as Hammel lasted only five innings, giving up seven hits and three walks.

What it means: The rookies at second and third base showed some more of their youthful inconsistency, as both made critical errors on somewhat routine plays to start and finish the game. Manager Joe Maddon has talked about their work often, but its hasn't fully paid off yet.

Castro's big hit has plenty of meaning, as he hasn't had many big ones over the last two months. You get the feeling he has a hot streak coming as he’s slowly been trending in the right direction. He has two home runs in June after hitting just one in May.

The Cubs bullpen has been lights out since late May and its hard to blame Hector Rondon for the loss as he induced light contact, but an error, Anthony Rizzo holding a runner at first base and a drawn-in infield was the difference in the final inning.

Soler on the mend: Before the game Joe Maddon said outfielder Jorge Soler is getting closer to performing baseball activities as he recovers from an ankle injury. He’ll more than likely need a few at-bats in a rehab assignment, according to Maddon.

What’s next: Game 3 of the series takes place on Saturday evening when Kyle Hendricks (2-2, 3.96) takes on Mike Leake (3-4, 4.29).