Observations: Cleveland shuts out Cubs, homers off Alzolay


The Cubs lost 4-0 to Cleveland on Monday at Wrigley Field to open a two-game series. The Cubs have collected six Ls in their past eight games.

Here are 10 observations from the game:

  1. Adbert Alzolay returned from the 10-day IL (finger blister) to start Monday. In his first outing in two weeks, Alzolay retired the first five batters he faced. Then, he gave up a solo homer to Bobby Bradley.
  2. Bradley’s second-inning shot was the sixth home run of the rookie’s career and snapped his three-game hitless streak.
  3. Alzolay gave up a second home run in the fifth inning, this time a two-run shot by Josh Naylor. It was the fourth time this season that Alzolay had allowed two homers in a game but first since May 17 against the Nationals.
  4. Alzolay left the game later that inning, after walking Cleveland pitcher Aaron Civale with two outs. In all, Alzolay allowed three runs on three hits and struck out five.
  5. Javy Báez made an inning-ending baserunning error in the fourth. After beating out a fielder’s choice, Báez was on first base with one out when Anthony Rizzo hit a long fly ball to left field. But Báez took off running like there were two outs. He was halfway between second and third base before he seemed to realize his mistake. Cleveland left fielder Eddie Rosario relayed a throw over to first for the double play.  
  6. Cubs manager David Ross pulled Báez out of the game before the next frame, and Sergio Alcántara took his place at shortstop.
  7. Cubs catcher Willson Contreras hit doubles in his first two at-bats Monday, but the Cubs failed to score him both times.
  8. The Cubs put two more runners in scoring position in the seventh inning, with a leadoff single from Anthony Rizzo and a two-out groundball double from Jason Heyward. In the ninth, back-to-back walks put Rizzo on second base. The Cubs stranded them all.
  9. Cubs reliever Tommy Nance threw two wild pitches one at-bat to bring home another Cleveland run in the eighth inning.  
  10. Major League Baseball started its crackdown on foreign substances on Monday, checking each pitcher for sticky stuff on his person during the game. At Wrigley Field, the inspections went quickly between innings.

On deck: The Cubs wrap up a two-game series against Cleveland on Tuesday. Cubs ace Kyle Hendricks takes the mound against Cleveland rookie Eli Morgan. The Cubs then have an off-day Wednesday before hitting the road for a 10-game road trip.

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