CHICAGO – Aroldis Chapman is making pitching look easy.
Chapman came out of the bullpen to stop an eighth-inning rally attempt, rookie Todd Frazier doubled twice and drove in four runs and the Cincinnati Reds beat the sloppy Chicago Cubs 10-8 Friday to end their season-high losing streak at five games.
Chapman entered with two outs and a man on third in the eighth after the Cubs had closed to 9-8, and he struck out Anthony Rizzo to preserve a one-run lead.
He cut through the heart of the Cubs’ batting order in the ninth for his 26th save in 30 chances and 18th in a row. Chapman has a 0.18 ERA against NL clubs this season and hasn’t given up a run to a league rival since June 7 against Pittsburgh.
He’s been a team lifesaver for us, Reds manager Dusty Baker said. The one thing guys out there are learning is (when) you’re in first place, everybody plays their hardest and their best against you.
You can’t overlook anybody because they’re gunning for you.
Ryan Ludwick hit a two-run homer into a 24 mph wind in the third against Justin Germano (1-2) as the NL Central leaders built a 5-1 lead. Ludwick also doubled, walked and matched his career best with four runs.
Homer Bailey (10-7) won for the first time in four starts since July 20, giving up four runs and nine hits in 5 2/3 innings. He set his career high for wins, topping last year’s nine.
I’m glad we won the victory for him, because he’s won some tough ones this year, just like that, Baker said.
Chicago lost for the ninth time in 10 games and made five errors – by five players – that led to two unearned runs.
Germano gave up six runs – four earned – and seven hits in 5 2/3 innings.
Not the prettiest game we’ve played all year, that’s for sure, Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. I don’t attribute it to anything. We’ve played pretty good defense all season long. Sometimes those things happen.