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Sweep's slidin' away; Cubs defeat the Reds, 5-4

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Johnny Cueto gave the Reds a great outing, but Cincinnati blew a four-run lead and a potential sweep of Chicago.

David Banks
The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game

Johnny Cueto earns the nod today as he cruised through seven innings while only allowing one run. The Reds' ace looked a little shaky in his return to action on Monday in New York, but looked sharp on Sunday as he only walked two batters. Cueto managed a good performance despite only striking out two. He's not a high-strikeout pitcher, but that total is low even by his standards.

Alfonso Soriano and Wellington Castillo certainly rate mentions as well. In fact, you might say that Soriano wins the Harry Caray Memorial Star of the Game award for his game-tying homer in the eighth inning. The Cubs' left fielder finished the day two for four with two runs, two RBI, and a walk including the aforementioned home run. Castillo's RBI double in the 10th provided the winning run.

Key Plays

  • The two teams combined for only one hit through the first three innings, but the Reds broke out the lumber for the fourth. Jay Bruce started things off with a one-out, solo home run. Matt Garza then hit Todd Frazier with a pitch and walked Xavier Paul. Ryan Hanigan drove one to deep centerfield that was just out of David DeJesus' reach. Frazier scored on the play while Paul had to hold at second because of DeJesus' play on the ball. After Johnny Cueto struck out in a nine-pitch battle, the Cubs intentionally walked Shin-Soo Choo. Zack Cozart doubled to score Paul and Hanigan. The Reds led, 4-0.
  • Johnny Cueto got himself into some trouble in the seventh inning when Alfonso Soriano and Nate Schierholtz singled back-to-back. Luis Valbuena singled in Soriano, but Cueto struck out Darwin Barney to retire the Cubs. Reds led, 4-1.
  • Dusty Baker brought in Logan Ondrusek to start the eighth. Ondrusek retired the first two Cubs in order, but then Starlin Castro drove a liner to centerfield to reach first and start a rally. Anthony Rizzo showed why Chicago locked him up on a long term contract when he doubled down the right field line to drive in Castro. With the Reds clinging to a two-run lead, Ondrusek served up a fastball to Soriano, who deposited the ball in the left field terrace to tie the game at 4-4.
  • In the top of the 10th, Scott Hairston fouled off three fastballs from J.J. Hoover en route to an eight-pitch walk. Wellington Castillo followed with a shot off Frazier's glove that resulted in a double to left field. Hairston scored from first on the play, and the Cubs led, 5-4.
  • Frazier worked a one-out walk, and Jack Hannahan reached on catcher interference to put a Red in scoring position. However, Hanigan flied out to left and Donald Lutz grounded out to end the game. Cubs won, 5-4.

<iframe src="http://www.fangraphs.com/graphframe.aspx?config=0&static=0&type=livewins&num=0&h=450&w=450&date=2013-05-26&team=Reds&dh=0" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" height="450" width = "450" style="border:1px solid black;"></iframe><br /><span style="font-size:9pt;">Source: <a href="http://www.fangraphs.com/livewins.aspx?date=2013-05-26&team=Reds&dh=0&season=2013">FanGraphs</a></span>

Other Notes

  • Brandon Phillips went oh for four to halt his hitting streak at 12 games.
  • The Dodgers and the Cardinals are currently tied at three St. Louis has taken the lead over the Dodgers, 4-3, in the seventh at Chavez Ravine.
  • I think I'm contractually obligated to link to this song after using it as a pun in the headline.
  • Since ken linked to a slew of Beach Boys songs yesterday, I'll pick something different for the song of the day.

  • The Reds play the Indians tomorrow at 1:10. Mike Leake takes the ball for Cincinnati while Cleveland will send out Ubaldo Jimenez.