"If we keep giving that kind of effort, I'll be very happy," Maddon said. "Good things are gonna happen."
Just not Tuesday.
DeSclafani gave up two hits while striking out five for the Reds, who evened the three-game series after dropping the opener 7-6 in 10 innings Monday night. Acquired this offseason as part of the trade that sent former ace Mat Latos to the Miami Marlins, DeSclafani (1-0) earned his first victory for Cincinnati.
"It means a lot," the right-hander said. "I think no matter where I was I always wanted to get wins and help the team win. It's good to get a win under our belt. Kind of had a tough couple games but it happens. Glad we could definitely pull this one out."
Castillo was the Cubs' starting catcher last season before being relegated to the bench after the team acquired David Ross and Miguel Montero in the offseason. Used mainly as pinch-hitter, Castillo also had a big hit in the middle of a ninth-inning rally Sunday and lined out to left field on Monday.
"I know he doesn't like it; I don't want him to like it, actually," Maddon said of Castillo. "He's really good; that's what I felt all along. His last three pinch hits, the ball has been hit hard every time."
In the ninth, Aroldis Chapman gave up a Starlin Castro leadoff single and a one-out walk to Szczur but struck out David Ross and Mike Olt to convert his third save and snap Cincinnati's three-game losing streak.
DeSclafani and the Reds got the win thanks in part to an offense that scored three runs in the fourth against Jake Arrieta (1-1), who dominated Cincinnati last season. Arrieta, who was coming off seven scoreless innings in his first start of the year against St. Louis, took no-hitters into the seventh inning twice against the Reds in 2014 but didn't match that Tuesday. He went 6 2-3 innings and allowed three runs and seven hits while striking out five and allowed an earned run for the first time since Sept. 9.
That wasn't enough to help the Cubs win their fourth straight one night after moving two games above .500 for the first time since the end of the 2009 season.
Reds: C Devin Mesoraco was out because of his ailing left hip, and Price said there isn't any consideration to put him on the disabled list "at this point." ... Price said RHP Homer Bailey (right forearm) will throw a bullpen session Wednesday and is scheduled to make his season debut Saturday against the St. Louis Cardinals. ... Phillips was replaced in the fifth by Skip Schumaker due to "lightheadedness" and Price said his second baseman passed a concussion test.
The series finale on Wednesday night pits the Reds' Jason Marquis (0-0, 4.50) against the Cubs' Travis Wood (0-1,5.79). Both starters will be facing their former teams. Marquis went 23-18 in 65 starts with Chicago in the 2007 and 2008 seasons, while Wood was 11-10 in 35 starts with Cincinnati during the 2010 and 2011 seasons.
DeSclafani made a strong play for the first out in the fifth on a sharp Castro grounder up the middle. DeSclafani attempted to reach behind his back to grab the grounder but lost his glove in the process. The Reds pitcher still had time to run a few feet off the mound to grab the ball and throw out Castro.
The Cubs have 13 pitchers, though Maddon and president Theo Epstein didn't discount the possibility of adding an infielder for Friday's game against the San Diego Padres. Could that infielder be hyped prospect Kris Bryant? "It depends on what's happening with the roster, what's happening with his development," Epstein said. "We don't know yet."