Reds 1, Cubs 0
CHICAGO (AP)—There were runners on first and third with the middle of the order coming up, but Kyle Lohse didn’t flinch.
What could have been a game-turning rally was instead a defining moment for Lohse.
“That’s a big confidence boost when you can face that part of the lineup with men on first and third and no outs and get the two strike outs,” Lohse said. “That’s what we need right there to come through in that situation.”
Lohse (1-0) allowed four hits and one walk. Three of those hits were by Ryan Theriot, but the Cubs couldn’t muster much else against Lohse. So Jeff Conine’s RBI single in the fourth was enough for the Reds.
Chicago wasted another solid outing by Lilly (1-1), who allowed a run and two hits while striking out 10 and walking one in six innings. It was his ninth game with 10 or more strikeouts and his first since June 10 with Toronto.
David Weathers got two outs for his fifth save in five chances. With one out and a man on, Barrett hit Weathers’ 3-2 pitch deep down the left-field line, but it just hooked foul. Barrett flied out to right on the next pitch.
Lilly, who held Cincinnati to a run in seven innings in a win on April 4, walked Brandon Phillips leading off the fourth. And after Phillips stole second and Josh Hamilton struck out, Conine drove Phillips in with a single to left.
“I’ve had three starts and we’re not winning a lot of games,” said Lilly, who signed with the Cubs for four years and $40 million in the offseason. “It’s nice to go out there and throw the ball well, but the objective is to win games.”
The Cubs are 4-7 after losing for the fifth time in six games—certainly not what they anticipated after spending about $300 million on a roster makeover in the offseason.
“What have I seen? What have you all seen?” manager Lou Piniella asked afterward. “You ask me like I’m the only eyes in this room. What have you all seen?”
Told his opinion is the one that matters, Piniella smiled and said, “Oh, mine’s the one that matters. We’ve got to get better at it, obviously.”
The Cubs threatened in the sixth, when Soriano led off with a double down the left-field line and moved to third on a single to center by Theriot. But Lohse retired the middle of the order.
“That was huge for me right there,” Lohse said. “You can’t give up a run. Soriano did a good piece of hitting and Theriot—I can’t get him out. … But pitching around those situations and coming up with some big strikeouts was huge for me.”
For the Cubs, it was a rough ending to a weekend that started on a sour note.
They lost 6-5 on Friday, after Cincinnati scored six in the fifth inning against ace Carlos Zambrano and reliever Will Ohman. Rich Hill and two relievers combined on a 7-0 shutout Saturday. But a day later, Lohse shut down the Cubs.
Griffey singled with one out in the second inning. It was Griffey who asked Bud Selig if he could wear No. 42 on the 60th anniversary of the day Robinson broke baseball’s color barrier, and the commissioner thought it was such a good idea he invited every team to allow players to wear it.
“For our ballclub to come in here and score in two innings and win two out of three, that’s pretty good,” manager Jerry Narron said. “That’s getting it done.”
The Reds were without Adam Dunn—a late scratch because of back spasms — so Josh Hamilton started in left and batted third. … The Cubs honored Jackie Robinson scholars and alumni before the game. They also paid tribute to Branch Rickey, the Dodgers executive who signed Robinson to a minor league contract on Aug. 28, 1945. … Piniella said he’s “hopefully optimistic” 3B Aramis Ramirez will be able to play Monday against San Diego, after missing three straight games with tendinitis in his right wrist. … Cubs reliever Scott Eyre spent Saturday night in the hospital with flu-like symptoms. … Reds SS Alex Gonzalez missed his third consecutive game while tending to his 7-month-old son, who is hospitalized in Venezuela.