CINCINNATI (AP) — The Cincinnati Reds lost 100 games for the first time in four decades, falling to the Chicago Cubs 15-2 in their season finale on Wednesday as David Bote drove in a season-high five runs.
Cincinnati lost seven of its last nine games to finish 62-100, one shy of the franchise record for losses set by the 1982 team that went 61-101.
The Reds became the record-tying fourth team to lose 100 games this season, even for the bottom of the NL Central with Pittsburgh after just missing postseason play with an 83-79 record last season.
“One hundred losses, that number doesn’t change a thing about how great I feel about every single person in that room — the players, the staff,” Reds manager David Bell. “It doesn’t change the focus and the goal for next season.”
Similarly rebuilding Chicago finished 74-88 and third in the NL Central, up from 71-91 and fourth last season.
“Ending with a win is nice,” Cubs manager David Ross said. “From this seat, the sound I want to hear is the pop of champagne at some point.”
The crowd of 12,437 boosted the Reds’ attendance to 1,387,947 in 79 dates at Great American Ball Park, down from the 1,775,396 in 79 dates in 2019, which didn’t include two “home” games in Mexico.
This season’s attendance is Cincinnati’s lowest in a full season since the 1984 team drew 1,275,887 to Riverfront Stadium, and doesn’t include the 7,823 fans who attended the Aug. 11 Field of Dreams game in Dyersville, Iowa — when the Reds were the home team.
Bote hit a three-run homer before Chicago broke open the game with a six-run sixth, capped by Zach McKinstry’s three-run homer.
“It was not a fun game to be a part of,” Bell said. “It was good to come back home and take two of three. I had a lot of opportunity today to talk about the positives. Guys are already talking about spring training more than any group I’ve been around.”
The Cubs won eight of their last 10 games, including a sweep of a three-game series against the Reds over the weekend..
“It was a lot of fun watching these guys play,” Chicago starter Adrian Sampson said. ”How it ended up is exciting for me.”
Adbert Alzolay (2-1), the first of five relievers who took over for the injured Adrian Sampson, pitched 2 1/3 scoreless innings to get the win.
Rookie right-hander Graham Ashcraft (5-6) set a season-high with five walks while slipping to 0-4 against the Cubs this season.
The rookie went 0-4 with two blown saves over his last six starts.
MOVING THE LINE
The Cubs sent nine batters to the plate in the sixth inning and 10 in the seventh.
Cincinnati is 76-122 since being a season-high 12 games over .500 on Aug. 23, 2021.
Wednesday’s game was the last for Tom Hallion, who is retiring after umpiring more than 3,600 games over 33 seasons.
Working first base, he gave a kid a ball during the game followed by a fist bump and a chat.
Reds: Jonathan India was scratched from the original starting lineup after fouling a ball of his left foot on Tuesday.
Alejo Lopez replaced India at designated hitter.
Reds: Start the 2023 spring training schedule on Feb. 25 against Cleveland at Goodyear, Ariz.