CINCINNATI – Chicago Cubs left-hander Tsuyoshi Wada got a chance to make his major league debut on Tuesday, throwing five innings against the Cincinnati Reds in the nightcap of a double header on Tuesday.
Wada pitched for the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks for nine years in Japan and injured his elbow during his first spring training in the U.S. with Baltimore in 2012, requiring reconstructive surgery.
He gave up one unearned run in five innings, leaving after 87 pitches. Cubs manager Rick Renteria would have liked to keep him in.
“He threw strikes and kept the ball down in the zone,” Renteria said. “He had a tough time that last inning, but he worked through it well. If I didn’t feel like he was out of gas, I would’ve sent him back out there for the sixth. I felt he gave us a very, very good effort.”
Wada said through a translator that he was nervous early.
“It’s been a while since I’ve pitched in a park like this,” he said. “I’m definitely excited to pitch in this environment. I enjoyed it. It was very exciting.
“Walking to the mound, I was going back in my mind through the last three years. It was emotional coming here to pitch. I was excited.”
Renteria said it’s likely that he’ll get another start.
The bullpen let the lead get away. Billy Hamilton’s RBI single in the ninth off Hector Rondon (1-3) finished it.
In the first game, Jay Bruce hit a two-run homer off Wood (7-7) as part of a three-run first inning. Johnny Cueto (9-6) extended his stretch of success against the Cubs. He’s 5-0 in his last seven starts against Chicago.
Cueto gave up six hits, including back-to-back homers in the sixth by Chris Coghlan and Ryan Sweeney. Coghlan homered in both games and is 7-for-12 in the series with two homers and two doubles.
The Cubs are having a tough time with doubleheaders, getting swept in all three this season — by the Yankees, Nationals and Reds. They’re also having a tough time getting beyond their big trade.
Chicago has lost all five games since dealing starters Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel to Oakland.
“Believe you me, I think the furthest thing from their mind when they’re playing right now is the trade, if I can be frank,” Renteria said. “That’s done. It’s over.”