Cubs Score Often, but Not Enough

Nine runs are usually enough for a victory, even at Wrigley Field. The Cubs (10-10) allowed a season-high 11 runs while falling 11-9 to the Reds, and back to .500 for the year.

Making his fifth start of 2005, Carlos Zambrano allowed six runs in 4.2 innings, his worst outing to date this season. Zambrano was behind from the start after allowing five runs in the first two innings, four of which came in the second.

With his pitch count already over 100 in the fifth, Zambrano served up a solo home run to OF Adam Dunn and was ejected one pitch later for hitting OF Austin Kearns--the second time this season Zambrano has been given the heave-ho; the first coming on opening day at Arizona.

The six runs allowed were the most by the right-hander this season. The beaten-up Cub bullpen could do no better. Consisting of six relievers total, they allowed five runs and eight hits the rest of the way. Michael Wuertz (1-1) allowed two runs in two-thirds of an inning for his first career major league loss, and his first overall since May 18 of last year at AAA-Iowa.

Left-hander Will Ohman, fresh up from AAA after the Cubs placed Chad Fox on the 15-day DL with an elbow injury sustained in Monday's 10-6 win in game one of the series, pitched to five batters and allowed two hits and an intentional walk. Ohman had not allowed a run in 7.2 consecutive innings at Iowa before being promoted. It was his first big league outing since 2001, right before he would undergo two Tommy John surgeries.

Despite all of the pitching woes, the Cubs' offense was unphased. Two-run homers by Jeromy Burnitz, Jason Dubois and Aramis Ramirez, plus a solo shot from Derrek Lee, tied a season-high four roundtrippers by Cub hitters for one game; all four came against Reds starter Eric Milton, who like Zambrano got a no-decision.

All but one of Burnitz's four home runs and two of his 14 RBI this season have now come at Wrigley Field. Lee's home run gave him nine straight games with a hit; the traditionally slow starting Lee is batting .400 through his first 20 games with 5 HR and 21 RBI.

Neifi Perez went 1-for-3 to extend his hitting streak to five games.


Northsiders Report Top Stories