Not that long ago, the Chicago Cubs probably viewed a series against the Cincinnati Reds as a near-guaranteed way to pick up some quick victories and gain some ground in the National League Central standings.
Those days have changed. And so is the Cubs-Reds rivalry.
The Cubs couldn’t hold a multi-run lead for the second straight night, and the Reds won their fifth in a row and eighth in 10 games — quite a run for a team that played .250 ball for the first month-plus of the season — by rallying for a 6-3 victory on Friday night.
Now, the Cubs are expected to ask their bullpen to carry them through the third game of the four-game series Saturday at Great American Ball Park — a series that isn’t going much like most of those Cubs-Reds matchups for the last four seasons.
The Cubs managed only four hits in the game, David Hernandez pitched two scoreless innings and Raisel Iglesias finished in the ninth for his 12th save.
The Cincinnati bullpen has pitched 6 1/3 scoreless innings in the series so far.
That was one of the cleaner games we’re played — offensively, defensively, we ran the bases well … and got timely hits, Riggleman said. When you do that, you’re probably going to win.
On a day an ABC News report broke that former Red Sox DH Hanley Ramirez was involved in federal and state drug investigations, his former team spotted Seattle four runs in the first inning. The Red Sox immediately caught up and went ahead in the bottom of the first but then trailed 10-5 before charging back again.
After their bats snoozed through the first two games in Minnesota, the Red Sox have scored 23 runs on 36 hits in the last two games — coming back Friday to hand the Mariners their fifth straight loss, including four on their current 10-game AL East road trip.
It would be easy to give up in that kind of situation, just kind of coast through the game, but we kept fighting, said Andrew Benintendi, who went 2-for-4 with an RBI and three runs scored in the win.
According to STATS, Friday’s game marked the first time since September 1945 that the Red Sox won a game in which they had a pitcher (Steven Wright) give up 10 or more earned runs.
The Mariners’ pitching failure wasted a two-homer, seven-RBI game by Nelson Cruz.