Reds deal young Cubs sixth straight loss

 

Chicago Tribune

Youth is being served on the Cubs' roster.

But latest arrivals Arismendy Alcantara, Dallas Beeler and Kyle Hendricks would like to be more than appetizers before the likes of Kris Bryant and Javier Baez arrive.

Alcantara displayed his defensive skills at second base Wednesday night but went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts in his major league debut, while Beeler allowed three runs in the fifth inning of a 4-1 loss to the Reds in his second major league start.

Now it will be up to Hendricks, who will make his major league debut Thursday, to stop the Cubs' six-game losing streak.

"It's the part of the season where it's a low point for the team, but we've got to keep going and grind it out," Anthony Rizzo said after hitting his 20th home run.

More minor league players could get opportunities before the July 31 trade deadline.

The Braves, searching for left-handed relief help, had a scout look at James Russell and Wesley Wright during this series.

The Blue Jays are looking at second-base and third-base candidates. Luis Valbuena and Darwin Barney - currently on maternity leave with Alcantara filling in for two games - could fit their needs.

Manager Rick Renteria was ejected in the bottom of the fifth by third-base umpire Andy Fletcher, who ruled that Devin Mesoraco's grounder was foul after Valbuena fielded it for what could have been the final out.

"The poor guy (Fletcher) had no chance with me," Renteria said after his fifth ejection. "When my player feels he has a call, as a manager I've got to talk to him."

Two walks led to four runs off Beeler, who received the start in place of Jeff Samardzija, traded to the Athletics on Friday.

"We thought there would be openings, but we didn't know what was going to happen with it," Beeler said. "So we're flying by the seat of our tail."

Hendricks said before the game that he and his Triple-A Iowa teammates "definitely played out scenarios" after Samardzija and Jason Hammel were traded to the A's.

"There were plenty of guys who could have done it, which says something about the guys we have down there," said Hendricks, who will be pitching in front of 15 relatives and friends. "Anyone could have filled the spot. I'm happy I got the opportunity."

Hendricks' start means the Cubs will have three starting pitchers making their major league debuts in a 13-day span or less for the first time since 1948, when Bob Rush (April 22), Cliff Chambers (April 24) and Dutch McCall (April 27) did it in six days.

Alcantara, who will return to Iowa after Thursday's game, made two exceptional defensive plays but was fooled on a few breaking pitches from Alfredo Simon, who became the National League's first 12-game winner.

"If I do well, they can bring me back," Alcantara said.

Rizzo became the Cubs' first left-handed hitter to hit 20 home runs before the All-Star break since Rick Monday in 1973 and the first Cub overall since Derrek Lee had 27 in 2005.

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