Winning their fourth consecutive series, the Cincinnati Reds took the rubber match over the Chicago Cubs by a final score of 4-1.
The scoring got underway quickly with the Reds having scored in the first inning for the 10th time in their last 13 games.
A Todd Frazier single turned into a run after Jay Bruce roped an RBI double down the right field line. With two outs in the frame, Joey Votto figured the first was as good a time as any to try to score an additional run, but was gunned down at the plate on an impressive relay by the Cubs.
Over the following four innings, the Reds would never really threaten, with just a solitary hit.
Thankfully, for Cincinnati, Mat Latos was on his game once again. Out spoken and upset about his performance last Friday night against Toronto, Latos took to the hill on Wednesday like a man with a purpose.
Outside of the fourth inning, where the Cubs would score their only run of the evening, Latos was dominant personified. For the night, he would allow only five hits (three of which came in the fourth), walking none and striking out five.
With this being just the third start in 2014 for Latos, his win on Wednesday was his first of the season.
Having already beaten the Reds twice this year, three was not a crowd for Edwin Jackson. A leadoff walk to Todd Frazier to open the sixth inning would prove catastrophic as the following three batters would all produce base hits.
Going the opposite way, Joey Votto’s RBI double would be his first run driven in since Saturday’s win at home against Toronto.
After a single from Devin Mesoraco (who would snap his five-game consecutive home run streak), Jay Bruce also went the opposite way for a run scoring double–his second of the evening.
Going about getting a run across the board in an unconventional manner, Skip Schumaker executed the Reds’ first successful suicide squeeze bunt of the season for the third run of the frame.
Schumaker would have quite the night in his third consecutive spot start out at second base for the Reds with Brandon Phillips still nursing a bruised right heel. After going a combined 1-for-7 over the last two games, Schumaker would rip two doubles on Wednesday and execute a flawless squeeze play that could have potentially gotten two runners home, not just the one it did. He was also rock solid in the field, making all the necessary plays–albeit without the flare that Phillips provides.
In addition to Mesoraco’s consecutive game home run streak coming to an end at five games, Billy Hamilton’s hit streak also was put to a halt. Before Wednesday, his 12-game streak was the longest active one in the National League.
Although Justin Ruggiano would double off Chapman in the ninth, the duo seemingly never broke a sweat as they nailed down the win. The one streak that would not end was Chapman’s consecutive appearances with a strikeout, which reached 32 games with two more punch-outs during his save on Wednesday.
Heading out further west, the Reds now get ready for a four-game series with the San Francisco Giants. The one pitcher in their starting rotation they will miss is Tim Lincecum, who just so happened to throw his second career no-hitter earlier on Wednesday afternoon.