By HAL McCOY
As they have done so often this season, the Cincinnati Reds put all their eggs in a first-inning basket and they got fried. They scored three runs in the first inning Tuesday night in Wrigley Field, then put their bats on dry ice and didn’t score again.
That enabled Middletown native Kyle Schwarber to slap an opposite-field game-winning walk-off home run in the 10th-inning for a devastating 4-3 loss by the Reds. It came off Reds’ closer Raisel Iglesias with one out, dropping Cincinnati back to 6 1/2 games behind the division-leading Cubs
The Cubs called up Alec Mills from Triple-A Albuquerque to make a spot start and the Reds lit into him like wolves on a sheep. They scored three runs after they had two outs and nobody on base.
Eugenio Suarez, who hit a 3-and-2 home run in the first inning Monday, hit another 3-and-2 home run in the first inning Tuesday. It was his eighth first-inning homer this season, tying Milwaukee home run machine Christian Yelich for the most in the majors.
And the Reds didn’t stop there. Amazingly, Mills hit both Yasiel Puig and Derek Dietrich with pitches and both scored. Nick Senzel singled to make it 2-0. Jose Peraza doubled to score the third run, but Senzel was thrown out at home. As it turned out, that was a huge, huge out for the Cubs because the Reds didn’t score again.
It wasn’t because they didn’t have opportunities.
Derek Dietrich was hit by pitch to open the sixth, the second time he was plunked in this game and the 19th time this season.
Senzel singled to put runners on second and first with no outs. Jose Peraza hit into a doubl play and pitcher Anthony DeSclafani struck out.
Joey Votto doubled with two outs in the seventh but Suarez struck out.
Scooter Gennett singled as a pinch-hitter in the ninth against Craig Kimbrel and with two outs Jesse Winker walked on four pitches. Votto worked the count to 3-and-2 before flying out to center field.
Phillip Ervin singled with two outs in the 10th and moved into scoring position on Steve Cischek’s wild pitch. Nick Senzel flied to center.
And Schwarber sent the Wrigley Field crowd home singing ‘Go Cubs Go’ with his home run.
Reds starter Anthony DeSclafani pitched decently giving up only four hits in 5 2/3 innings, but two were destructive home runs. He gave up a single to Anthony Rizzo leading off the second and rookie Robel Garcia homered, cutting the Reds lead to 3-2.
It stayed 3-2 until the sixth when Kris Bryant blasted a two-out home run to tie it.
Wandy Peralta pitched two-thirds of an inning and stranded a runner on second. Jared Hughes pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings.
Robert Stephenson replace Hughes in the eighth and held the Cubs in check with two-thirds of a scoreless innings.
Garcia led the ninth with a single and with one out manager David Bell replaced Stephenson with Raisel Iglesias. He threw a wild pitch to put Garcia, the winning run, on third base. He escaped by striking out Albert Almora Jr. and Marin Maldonado, but he didn’t escape Schwarber.
But all the mostly good pitching received no offensive help after the first as the Reds stranded eight runners and were 2 for 8 with runners in scoring position. And the Reds’ extra-inning record dipped to 3-and-6.