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Chicago Cubs SS Dansby Swanson soaks HR in 8th to beat Cincinnati Reds 7-5 on rainy night

The Cincinnati Reds waited for more than three hours only to play in the rain anyway Saturday night at Wrigley Field.

And once the rain stopped, Chicago Cubs shortstop Dansby Swanson added one more cloudburst — a two-run homer off Lucas Sims in the eighth inning to beat the Reds 7-5 on a long, wet night of baseball.

In miserable playing conditions early, the Reds took a 4-0 lead on four unearned runs in the second inning, gifted by right-fielder Seiya Suzuki’s bases-loaded, bases-clearing muff of a routine fly to right. Stuart Fairchild followed the three-run error with a run-scoring single.

Hunter Greene allowed a two-out grand slam after walking the bases loaded in the second inning, but gave up only one additional run in six innings. He allowed only three hits but walked five and hit two batters.
Hunter Greene allowed a two-out grand slam after walking the bases loaded in the second inning, but gave up only one additional run in six innings. He allowed only three hits but walked five and hit two batters.

But Suzuki got all four back in the bottom of the inning on a two-out grand slam off Hunter Greene after the Reds starter had loaded the bases with three walks.

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A wet, sometimes sloppy grinder of a game got to the bottom of the eighth tied at 5-5.

“It was almost like two different games really,” Reds manager David Bell said, “for both teams. With the rain and everything. There was more offense early.”

Greene, who was on the ropes in the third inning, battled long enough to get through six innings, retiring 11 of the final 12 batters he faced — a string started with a double play for the first two outs of the third after he’d hit the first two batters of the inning and then surrendered a go-ahead single.

“I came in the dugout (after the third),” Greene said, “and I said, ‘You have a choice here: You can either fold and you can look up and it’s 10 runs, or you can go out there and compete and go out there for the team and go make a statement.’

“That was the choice I decided to make.”

The game did not begin until after a three-hour, 20-minute rain delay, the second-longest of the season for the Reds. And the conditions contributed to nine walks and three hit batters in 11 combined innings by the two starting pitchers (also Cubs lefty Justin Steele).

“Honestly, it should have never got to five runs, so I take that loss on me for sure,” Greene said. “I just tried to go out there and compete and control what I can control. I can’t control the conditions of the game. I can’t control any balls or strikes or anything like that. I’ve just got to go and make pitches.”

Saturday night's Reds-Cubs game did not begin until after a three-hour, 20-minute rain delay, the second-longest of the season for the Reds. Hunter Greene has been the Reds starter for three of their four longest rain delays this season.
Saturday night's Reds-Cubs game did not begin until after a three-hour, 20-minute rain delay, the second-longest of the season for the Reds. Hunter Greene has been the Reds starter for three of their four longest rain delays this season.

Bell called the quality of Greene's pitches to finish to Saturday's game "as good of stuff as I've seen from him, and that's saying a lot."

Greene has been the Reds starter for three of their four longest rain delays this season, previously losing 7-2 to the Brewers on April 10 and getting a no-decision in a loss to the Orioles on May 3 after pitching 5 2/3 scoreless innings.

The teams have split the first two games of the three-game set that concludes Sunday with Nick Lodolo facing Cubs rookie starter Ben Brown, who takes a seven-inning hitless streak into the start.

This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: Cincinnati Reds blow early lead, lose to Chicago Cubs on late home run