Monday, August 08, 2011
Sports News

Byrd blasts Wrigley turf after loss to Reds

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[August 08, 2011]  CHICAGO (AP) -- With brown patches scattered around the Wrigley Field outfield, it's no wonder Marlon Byrd wasn't happy.

Byrd slipped while chasing Joey Votto's shallow pop fly to start the eighth which led to a two-run inning that allowed the Cincinnati Reds to sneak away with an 8-7 victory and avoid a sweep on Sunday.

Ryan Hanigan hit the go-ahead single off Sean Marshall (5-5) after Votto scored on Todd Frazier's double to tie the game.

The field was patchy in part due to two Paul McCartney concerts and some bad weather recently.

"I don't think it's OK," Byrd said. "You have the concert, you have the rain the last couple days, that didn't help."

"When I landed, I slipped and went a good three feet. You try to get the field ready, but when it's raining every day, what can you do about the outfield? The infield grass is great, but it gets covered. The outfield doesn't. We have the drainage here, but it's really hard to get the outfield ready with a lot of rain and that concert, too."

McCartney performed at Wrigley on July 31 and Aug. 1. Wear and tear on the grass is visible around the outfield. The tarp also covered the infield Sunday until about two hours before first pitch.

The loss broke a season-high seven-game win streak for the Cubs.

"It hurts. When you lose.we didn't lose on that ball, but that inning completely changes if I didn't slip," Byrd said.

Frazier, Drew Stubbs and Edgar Renteria all hit home runs for Cincinnati. Nick Masset (2-5) got the final out in the seventh to earn the win.

Aroldis Chapman struck out the side in the eighth and Francisco Cordero worked the ninth for his 20th save in 25 chances, his first save opportunity since July 20.

Starlin Castro and Blake DeWitt homered for Chicago, which rallied back from a four-run deficit before ultimately losing.

Cubs starter Randy Wells gave up six runs and eight hits in seven innings with a walk and a strikeout.

Before Sunday, Wells was 4-1 against the Reds with a 2.64 earned run average.

"Not real sharp, obviously," Cubs manager Mike Quade observed. "Wrigley Field kind of day. There were some balls hit in the air that usually indicate that he's not as consistent as he needs to be."

Reds starter Bronson Arroyo gave up four runs and five hits in six innings.

Cincinnati took a 6-2 lead after Renteria hit a two-run homer in the fifth, but the Cubs came back on a two-run shot by Blake DeWitt in the sixth and took the lead with a three-run seventh.

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Tony Campana hit the Cubs' third consecutive single of the inning to score a run, Byrd hit a ground-rule double for the second, and Aramis Ramirez came home for the go-ahead run when Masset's first pitch against Geovany Soto got away from Hanigan.

"Yesterday I left eight on," Byrd said. "Today it was nice to get a big hit in a situation where we needed it."

Campana also prolonged the inning by breaking up a potential double-play on Ramirez's grounder to third.

Frazier fired to second baseman Paul Janish to force out Campana, but the speedster slid hard into second to prevent Janish from throwing to first.

"He plays the game the right way," Byrd said. "You don't have to ask him to hustle, you don't have to ask him to be in the right place at the right time. He knows how to play the game." Castro added two hits, including a tying solo homer in the third, to run his NL-leading total to 150. Chicago went up 2-1 later in the inning when center fielder Stubbs appeared blinded by the sun, allowing Byrd's fly to deflect off his glove for an RBI double.

Frazier put Cincinnati back on top with a two-run homer in the fourth, and Stubbs later scored on a wild pitch.

Dave Sappelt, called up from Triple-A Louisville before the game, made his big league debut and singled in the sixth for his first hit. He later made a diving catch in left field to rob Soto of extra bases in the fourth.

"Sappelt made some outstanding defensive plays. I'm big on defense," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "He saved some runs today."


NOTES: Plate umpire Paul Nauert left the game after the top of the eighth inning due to the heat. First base umpire Doug Eddings took over behind the plate. . Reds 2B Brandon Phillips (sprained right ankle) was not in the lineup Sunday. He was injured in a collision with Stubbs in the fifth inning on Saturday and was replaced by a pinch-hitter in the sixth. . The Reds placed OF Chris Heisey (strained left oblique) on the 15-day DL and recalled Sappelt from Triple-A Louisville. . Cubs RHP Matt Garza (5-8, 3.78 ERA) is set to face Washington in the series opener against the visiting Nationals. He has allowed nine runs in 7 2-3 innings in his two career starts against Washington. . The Reds head home to host the Colorado Rockies. Homer Bailey (6-5, 4.30) will start Monday. He is 0-2 with a 5.74 ERA in 15 2-3 career innings against Colorado.

[Associated Press]

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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