CINCINNATI — As long as Arsimendy Alcantara is in a Chicago Cubs uniform, manager Rick Renteria felt it only made sense Wednesday night to start Alcantara at second base in his major league debut.
"I think he's going to be in here for a couple days and should be in there," Renteria said of Alcantara, who will play while second baseman Darwin Barney is on the paternity list. "He's one of our young prospects and going to get a couple days of playing time and hopefully he's able to enjoy it and be himself. He's been doing very well this season and hopefully he feels comfortable with his teammates."
Alcantara has made two exceptional defensive plays to support fellow rookie Dallas Beeler, who allowed three runs in the bottom of the fifth inning of a 4-1 loss that extended the Cubs' losing streak to a season-high six games.
Reds speedy center fielder Billy Hamilton left in the eighth because of a tight right hamstring, and second baseman Brandon Phillips suffered a left thumb sprain while diving for a grounder by Anthony Rizzo in the eighth.
Renteria was ejected by third base umpire Andy Fletcher, who ruled that Devon Mesoraco's grounder was foul when Luis Valbuena fielded for what would have resulted in the final out of the fifth.
This was the fifth ejection of the season for Renteria, as the play was not reviewable.
Beeler allowed all three runs in the fifth with two out, as Hamilton snapped a 1-1 tie with a triple, and Phillips and Jay Bruce hit RBI singles.
Alcantara popped to short, grounded to third and struck out twice in his first four major league at-bats. The Cubs tied the game at 1 on a home run by Rizzo.
Rizzo's homer was his 20th of the season and third in four games. He became the first Cubs left-handed hitter to hit 20 home runs before the All-Star break since Rick Monday in 1973.
The Reds took a 1-0 lead in the second on a double by Ramon Santiago, who was thrown out by Alcantara on a strong relay throw to third.
Alcantara, 22, has received rave reviews from the Cubs and opposing scouts for his all-around talents and makeup. The switch-hitting Alcantara batted .307 with 25 doubles, 11 triples, 10 home runs, 41 RBIs and 21 stolen bases with Iowa.
"If it seems like it might be a bit overwhelming, we'll make an adjustment (Thursday). But there's nothing wrong with us allowing him an opportunity to seeing a little bit of a slot that he might be able to fit in."
Beeler, 25, allowed only four hits in six innings in his major league debut against the Washington Nationals on June 28.
Beeler is the first player drafted and signed by the Cubs in the 41st round or later to pitch in a game for the Cubs since reliever Justin Speier, a 51st round pick in 1995, appeared in a game in 1998.