Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Cubs Climb Closer to Reds

The Cubs, recently dropping to fourth in the NL standings after series losses to the teams above them, take a home series from the Reds, 3-1, to move a bit closer. Chicago is now 66-59, while the Reds are 64-56.

Game 1: Cubs 8, Red 7
W: Hands (10-11)
L: Maloney (10-7)
S: Upham (1)

The Cubs jump to an 8-0 lead after five off struggling Jim Maloney, largely off home runs by Ron Santo (his 26th), Jim Hickman and Randy Hundley. But Bill Hands again breaks down late, allowing seven Reds  runs in the next three innings, with the key blow a three-run homer from Tony Perez (12). After usual closer Phil Regan struggles, pitcher/outfielder Jim Upham comes on to get the final outs, stranding two Reds in the bottom of the ninth.

Game 2: Cubs 6, Reds 1
W: Jenkins (17-9)
L: Cloninger (2-4)

Fergie Jenkins srikes out 10 to preserve his major-league lead in Ks, going to distance on a four-hitter. "Mr. Cub" Ernie Banks drives in two with two doubles.
Alex Johnson has his hitting streak snapped
but is hitting .324 with 26 doubles 

Game 3: Reds 3, Cubs 1
W: Culver (12-8)
L: Nye (5-10)
S: Carroll (10)

George Culver breezes on a seven inning three-hitter to win his 12th, Tony Perez drives in two more and Alex Johnson smacks his 26th double. Rich Nye is again knocked around, this time for 13 hits in five innings. It would have been worse, but three Reds baserunners are thrown out at the plate in this one.

Game 4: Cubs 5, Reds 3
W: J. Niekro (9-8)
L: McCool (3-4)
S: Regan (20)

The Reds's Gary Nolan shuts down the Cubs early, while his counterpart, Joe Niekro, gives up solo homers to Pet Rose (15), Mack Jones (10) and Leo Cardenas (3) to stake Cincy to a 3-0 lead. But then Nolan departs in the fourth after reaching his low pitch limit. Billy McCool (the best name in baseball) can't find the plate, allowing seven walks and three baserunners to cross the plate via the base on balls. Phil Regan has a good two-inning outing to save his 20th.

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