McCoy: Porous pitching results in 9-3 Reds loss

The Cincinnati Reds were afforded the opportunity to climb out of fourth place and into third place during a three-game series this week in Wrigley Field.

They began the game Tuesday night two games behind the third-place Chicago Cubs and a three-game sweep would push them ahead of the Cubs.

Instead, the Reds pitching staff put on a horrific display, issuing 11 walks and hitting a batter leading to an ugly 9-3 defeat.

Offensively, the Reds were far from offensive. They had two hits, both by Kyle Farmer — a home run and a two-run triple to drive in all three runs in the first eight innings. They grabbed two hits in the ninth when it was 9-3.

Starter Justin Dunn left after 4 2/3 innings, the game tied, 3-3. But he walked four.

Then Ian Gibaut walked one in a third of an inning, Reiver Sanmartin walked one in two thirds of an inning, Fernando Cruz walked two in one-third of an inning and Art Warren walked three in two-thirds of an inning.

While Reds pitchers couldn’t find home plate with GPS, a Cubs rookie making his major league debut showed them how it’s done.

Hayden Wesneski replaced starter Wade Miley to start the fifth and finished the game. From the fifth through the eighth he retired 12 of 13 and the only baserunner was a walk.

He retired 14 in a row until Spencer Steer doubled with one out in the ninth and Aristides Aquino beat out an infield single. Wesneski finished with five innings of no-run, three-hit, one walk and eight strikeouts.

The Reds scored two in the first off former teammate Miley, making his first start June 10. And the two runs were not Miley’s fault, due to a leaky defense.

Jonathan India led off the game with a four-pitch walk. Albert Almora Jr. hit a double play ground ball, but second baseman Nick Madrigal threw wildly for an error.

Farmer blooped one behind first base and right fielder Seiya Suzuki permitted it to bounce past him. Two runs scored and Farmer was credited with a triple.

Reds-killer Ian Happ homered in the bottom of the first and before the ball landed in the left field bleachers, TV analyst Chris Welsh said, “What else is new?”

Farmer got the run back in the third. With one out, he picked on Miley’s first pitch and drove it into the left-field bleachers, giving the Reds a 3-1 lead.

The Cubs tied it against Dunn in the fifth. He walked Alfonso Rivas on a full count to open the inning. With two outs, Suzuki homered to left field and it was 3-3.

Chicago grabbed a 5-3 lead against the always shaky Reds bullpen in the sixth. Gibaut gave up a leadoff single to Nico Hoerner and Sanmartin replaced Gibaut.

Rafael Ortega tried to bunt, but Sanmartin wouldn’t let him. He walked him. Yan Gomes bunted the runners to third and second.

Cruz replaced Sanmartin and he walked Christopher Morel to fill the bases. Nick Madrigal lined a single to right for two runs and a 5-3 Cubs lead.

Warren took his turn giving up runs in the seventh with some more wildness. He issued a single, hit a batter, walked one to fill the bases and gave up a two-run single to No. 9 hitter Christopher Morel. Then he walked two straight, forcing in another run before manager David Bell mercifully sent him to the clubhouse.

Hunter Strickland didn’t walk anybody in the eighth, but he gave up a triple to Hoerner and a sacrifice fly to Ortega to make it 9-3.

With two outs and two strikes on Jose Barrero in the ninth, Bell was ejected for expressing his displeasure with umpire Carlos Torres’ strike zone, something both teams were unhappy with the entire game.

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