Price proud of 'pen's 8 scoreless vs. Cubs

Quartet of relievers hold potent Chicago offense hitless to keep Reds' hopes alive

June 29th, 2016

CINCINNATI -- For eight innings Tuesday night, the Reds got hitless, scoreless relief work from a bullpen that has more than taken its lumps this season. That streak came to a resounding end in the 15th inning when the Cubs scored five times off of J.J. Hoover to post a 7-2 win at Great American Ball Park.

Still, there were still plenty of positives to take from the performance as the Reds continue to work through a rebuilding process.

Raisel Iglesias, Tony Cingrani, Josh Smith and Blake Wood gave the Reds the opportunity to rally from a 2-0 deficit and potentially win the game in extra innings by shutting down a Chicago offense that the night before had blasted five home runs among eight extra-base hits in an 11-8 victory. Starter John Lamb had his best outing in his last four starts, going six solid innings before being lifted for a pinch-hitter and turning things over to Iglesias.

"The pitching today took a huge step forward, in my opinion," said manager Bryan Price. "There were a bunch of guys who had an opportunity to make a difference today, and they did."

Iglesias was the Opening Day starter, but a shoulder impingement forced him to the disabled list and, upon his return, back to a bullpen role he filled with great success for the Cuban national team before he signed with the Reds two years ago. Tuesday night, he struck out the first four batters he faced and allowed only a walk against seven batters faced.

Cingrani came on to pitch the ninth inning and set the Cubs down in order to keep it a 2-1 deficit. The Reds tied the game in the bottom of the inning to send it to extra innings. Cingrani walked a pair of batters in the 10th before being replaced by Smith with two outs and Kris Bryant -- he of the three-homer, two-double, six-RBI game on Monday -- came to the plate.

Smith coaxed Bryant into foul popout to catcher Ramon Cabrera.

"[Monday] night was over. I think Lamb did a good job tonight of keeping him off balance, and his swings just weren't as comfortable," said Smith, who allowed one walk in 2 1/3 innings. "When your starter can go out and make guys uncomfortable all night, it makes our job so much easier to do to just build on that."

Wood entered the game in the 13th inning. The only baserunner he allowed was when Anthony Rizzo reached on a two-base error by first baseman Joey Votto. Wood pitched around the error by getting Chris Coghlan to pop out to Ivan De Jesus Jr. at third base.

"I'm really proud of the guys," said Price. "Coming off a game like yesterday when we gave up 11 runs on 17 hits, five homers and three doubles and a lot of negative things, a lot of balls hit on the barrel, to coming back tonight and pitching like we could compete with anybody. I'm proud of them."