Cubs

Observations: Rizzo raises trade value in loss to Reds

Cubs
USA TODAY

As trade rumors continue to swirl around the Cubs, they lost the second game of a four-game series to the Reds Tuesday, 7-4, dropping to 50-52 this season.

Here are 10 observations from the game.

1. Anthony Rizzo boosted his trade value with a first-inning two-run home run, his third straight game with a home run — all coming in the first inning. Rizzo hit three home runs in a 28-game span from June 16 through last Saturday.

2. Rizzo has tallied a hit in five straight games for only the third time this season — the other two occasions coming in April and May. He’s 7-for-18 over that stretch with those three home runs.

3. Not to be outdone, Kris Bryant kept his name in the forefront of trade talks with a solo home run in the ninth inning, his 18th this season. Bryant, after a down June, is 18-for-59 (.305) in 19 games this month.

4. The Wrigley Field faithful rose to its feet when Rizzo stepped to the plate with the bases loaded and two outs in the seventh inning. Rizzo, who is drawing interest from the Red Sox, hit a deep flyout to left-center field.

5. Adbert Alzolay surrendered three home runs, a season-high and the sixth time in his last seven starts he’s given up multiple long balls. Alzolay has surrendered 23 home runs this season — 19 to lefties, including Joey Votto (two) and Jesse Winker (one) Tuesday.

 

6. Matt Duffy pinch hit for Alzolay in the fifth, the only inning the right-hander retired the Reds 1-2-3. Cincinnati scored four times on seven hits off Alzolay, who, for the first time since May 22, didn’t issue a walk in a start. 

7. Votto sparked the Reds' offense and also helped preserve their early 4-2 lead with an exceptional defensive play in the third. He caught Willson Contreras’ popup over the tarp down the right field line, then firing a strike to cut down Rafael Ortega at home plate for an inning-ending double play.

8. Amir Garrett entered the game in the ninth inning to a chorus of boos but secured the Cincinnati win with a scoreless appearance.

9. Patrick Wisdom added 400 feet to his case for National League Rookie of the Year, hitting his 15th home run of the season in the ninth. Wisdom leads NL rookies in home runs, all coming since late May.

10. Javy Báez, who came off the bench Monday to deliver a pinch-hit, walk-off single, did not play Tuesday due to a bruised left heel. He was a late scratch from the starting lineup.

On deck: First pitch Wednesday is 7:05 p.m. Tyler Mahle (7-3, 3.92 ERA) and Zach Davies (6-6, 4.30 ERA) are the probable starters.

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