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Cubs offense struggles in second straight walk-off loss to Reds

9 months agoAndy Martinez

CINCINNATI — Javier Assad was nearly flawless.

But a sputtering Cubs’ offense — the second such game in a row — spoiled Assad’s career outing (8 innings, 0 runs, 7 strikeouts, 7 hits and a walk) and saddled the Cubs to their second-straight walk-off loss to the Reds, 2-1 on Saturday night.

“[Assad] did his job. That was a phenomenal performance,” manager David Ross said after the game. “We gotta — we need to score more runs, [extend] things out, we just weren’t able to.”

The Reds, battling a COVID-19 outbreak, have made 15 roster moves to their 26-man roster over the last two days, including bringing up 4 players from Triple-A and another from Double-A to fill out the roster. Still, the Reds’ pitching staff has shut down the Cubs’ offense, limiting them to just 3 runs on 10 hits over the last 18 innings.

“You get 8 shutout innings from your starter, you definitely like your chances to win that game,” Nico Hoerner said. “Obviously we weren’t able to close out the last two, but I think in here it kinda feels like that’s as much if not more on the offense than anything. Obviously, you can win with 1, but it’s really, really challenging.

“Nothing to panic about or anything. But obviously, a lot of guys in here that feel like they could’ve changed the outcome of today’s game.”

They’ll have an opportunity Sunday against righty Carson Spiers, who was brought up from Double-A Chattanooga. They’ll need it if they want to avoid a series loss to Cincinnati.

“Hitting in this game can be challenging,” shortstop Dansby Swanson said after the game. “As a group, we obviously have so much confidence in one another and know that good things are bound to happen. We just gotta keep showing up. That’s what this game will do. It’ll test you.

“But we got a lot of guys in this room that we believe in, and that we know that will step up when a moment comes up.”

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