The case of the missing Cingrani was solved but so was the pitching mystery of rookie Anthony DeSclafani in the Cubs 5-2 win on Sunday
The Cubs scored on the 100th career home run by Miguel Montero. It was the first allowed by DeSclafani as a Red and snapped his streak of 16 scoreless innings.
The Cubs were aided by an error by Todd Frazier to score four unearned runs off DeSclafani in the fourth. The big blow was a three-run double by rookie Addison Russell after he was down in the count 0-2.
"That's a pitch that I want back," DeSclafani said. "The situation never changes whatever it is, I am going to attack the strike zone. I need to locate those pitches better. I could have bounced it in the dirt to get him to chase it."
Frazier partially atoned for his miscue by lofting his fifth home run into the leftfield stands.
Arrieta seemed to lose his edge. Brandon Phillips and Brennan Boesch singled but Marlon Byrd struck out after an eight-pitch at bat.
Zack Cozart singled to leadoff the fifth and Brayan Pena walked. Manager Bryan Price sent Devin Mesoraco to pinch hit and he drew a walk. Billy Hamilton forced Mesoraco at second as Cozart scored. Arrieta being cautious with Joey Votto, walked the Reds' firstbaseman.
Frazier with another chance to shed the goat's horn popped up to Cubs' firstbaseman Anthony Rizzo in foul territory. Phillips forced Votto to end the threat. Hamilton tripled with two out in the seventh but Votto struck out.
The Reds are hitless in its last 20 at-bats with runners in scoring position, including 0-for-5 today.
Cingrani had not pitched in 13 days before throwing two perfect innings. His absence in games had been a mystery.
"I felt good. I felt fresh," Cingrani said. "I threw four times in the last 12 days. I was jacked up. We are only 16 games in the season. I will get plenty of opportunities to pitch."
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Price is trying to re-acclimate Cingrani into a bullpen role.
"Modern baseball has evolved so that guys are used to pitching in certain roles," Price said. "You used to have guys like Pedro Borbon who threw 500 innings over a three-year period. My concern with Tony is how he is going to bounce back. We've had him up (warm up) and not gotten him in a game. There are a lot of things that go into using Tony. We needed length but you also have a lefty that can pitch later in games. We have to get him used to getting up and not being used. We need to see how he reacts to shorter stints over a couple days.: We have to create durability with Tony."
The other Reds bullpen pitchers getting off to a slow start prevented Price from using Cingrani to pitch in shorter stints.
"We are going to need (Kevin) Gregg, (Burke) Badenhop and (J.J.) Hoover to throw the way they are capable," Price said. "Their slow start affected how we use Tony. We are going to need those guys. There are not a lot of alternatives. We are going to need those guys. You can't tell guys they lost their role after they struggle the first time out."
"The alternative is to stretch every one out if we are going to go back to the way pitchers were used in the 70's or 80's," Price said.