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Four errors doom Cubs in 7-5 loss to Reds

Cubs reliever Kerry Wood gathers himself after he was charged with throwing error sacrifice bunt eighth inning Tuesday night.

Cubs reliever Kerry Wood gathers himself after he was charged with a throwing error on a sacrifice bunt in the eighth inning Tuesday night. | Al Behrman~AP

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Updated: August 31, 2011 12:37AM

CINCINNATI — So much for postgame meetings, getting angry and cleaning stuff up.

One night after manager Mike Quade reached his boiling point and let his team know it after an ugly loss, the Cubs blew leads twice on even sloppier play Tuesday in a 7-5 loss to the Cincinnati Reds.

The cold, rainy weather may not have been conducive to crisp play, but the Cubs were even less conducive to it. Every Reds run was unearned.

‘‘Four errors, right? That’s beating yourself,’’ Quade said. ‘‘[The conditions] were tough on everyone. But we made four mistakes, and they made one. Ballgame. . . . Back to the drawing board.’’

But not back to the meeting room anytime soon.

‘‘I think I said all I needed to say [Monday] night for right now,’’ Quade said. ‘‘I guess Knute Rockne I’m not.’’

Rockne never was charged with making champions out
of Cubs.

Throwing errors by Matt Garza on a two-error, three-run single play in the fourth and by Kerry Wood in a four-run seventh helped send the Cubs to their 13th loss in 20 games, dropping them to a season-worst six games under .500.

Quade said he doesn’t think the veteran players are starting to press.

‘‘I hope not,’’ he said.

The one-play mess in the fourth came with the bases loaded and two out after an intentional walk. Reds pitcher Edinson Volquez hit a sharp one-hopper off Carlos Pena’s glove at first for one error. And
after second baseman Darwin Barney scooped the carom and fired to Garza at first, Garza turned and threw wildly toward the plate, with the ball going into a photographer’s well, allowing the second and third runs of the inning to score.

Garza said the ball just slipped, but he didn’t blame the weather.

‘‘I probably shouldn’t have thrown it,’’ he said. ‘‘Just the heat of the moment.’’

After the Cubs came back to regain the lead, 5-3, Wood uncorked his own bad throw — with two on and none out —
after pouncing on a hard bunt to the mound and trying to get the force at third and a possible double play.

Instead, the ball wound up down the left-field line as two scored and batter Ryan Hanigan took third.

Wood said he played out the situation in his head before the play and had a firm grip on the ball. He also refused to blame the weather.

‘‘If we haven’t reached rock bottom with this, we’re pretty damn close,’’ Quade said. ‘‘So you just keep playing and get to Florida [for
today’s series opener] and keep working to get better. There’s no magic formula.’’

The sloppy ending spoiled the impressive major-league debut of Tony Campana, the former 13th-round draft pick from the Cincinnati area.

Campana, 24, was called up from Class AAA Iowa to take the place of demoted outfielder Tyler Colvin. He scored the go-ahead run as a pinch-runner in the seventh and drove in another run with a double on his first big-league pitch an inning later.

‘‘It’s pretty much a dream come true,’’ he said, ‘‘other than the outcome of the game. I couldn’t have planned it any better, to [debut] here just 25 minutes from my house.’’

He grew up in nearby Springboro, Ohio, and graduated from the University of Cincinnati.

The biggest part of his success story: Campana beat lymphatic cancer as a grade-school kid.

‘‘So this will be the second-hardest thing he’s done,’’ said Cubs first-base coach Bob Dernier, who got to know Campana the last three seasons as the team’s minor-league outfield and base-running coordinator.

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