Cincinnati Reds takes lead early and loses to Chicago Cubs late at home

The Cincinnati Reds waited more than three hours just to play in the rain on Saturday night at Wrigley Field.

Once the rain stopped, Chicago Cubs shortstop Dansby Swanson added another cloud hit — a two-run homer off Lucas Sims in the eighth inning to defeat the Reds 7-5 on a long, wet night of baseball.

In miserable playing conditions early, the Reds took a 4-0 lead on four unearned runs in the second inning, gifted by right fielder Seiya Suzuki’s bases-loaded, clearing the bases on a routine fly to right. Stuart Fairchild followed the triple error with a single.

But Suzuki got all four back in the bottom of the inning on a grand slam from Hunter Greene after the Reds outfielder had loaded the bases with three runs.

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The wet and sometimes sloppy grind of the game reached the bottom of the eighth with a 5-5 tie.

“It was a couple of really different games, for both teams,” Reds manager David Bell said. “With the rain and everything. There was more foul play early on.”

Greene, who was on the ropes in the third inning, battled long enough to get through six innings, retiring 11 of the last 12 batters he faced — starting the series with a double play in the first two outs of the third inning after he struck out the first two batters of the inning and then surrendered a go-ahead run.

“I came into the dugout (after the third)” and said, “You have a choice here: You can either bunt and you can go looking for 10 runs, or you can go out there and compete,” Green said. And go there for the team and go make a statement.

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“This was the choice I decided to make.”

The match did not start until after a rain delay of three hours and 20 minutes, the second longest delay for the Reds this season. The conditions contributed to nine walks and three strikeouts in 11 combined innings by the starting pitchers (also Cubs lefty Justin Steele).

“Honestly, it wasn’t supposed to come down to five innings, so I definitely take that loss on my shoulders,” Green said. “I just tried to go out there and compete and control what I can control. I can’t control the conditions of the game. I can’t control any balls or hits or anything like that. I just have to go and make plays.”

Bell described the quality of Green’s pitches toward the end of Saturday’s game as “as good as I’ve seen from him, and that’s saying a lot.”

Green was the Reds’ starter in three of the four longest rainout delays of the season, before a 7-2 loss to the Brewers on April 10 and getting a no-decision in a loss to the Orioles on May 3 after pitching 5 2/3 Without role objectives.

The teams split the first two games of a three-game set that ends Sunday with Nick Lodolo facing Cubs rookie Ben Brown, who is taking a seven-inning wicket streak at first.

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