Cubs' Ross giving Kimbrel 'a little bit of leash' after rough outing
Ron Vesely / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Chicago Cubs manager David Ross preached patience Monday after closer Craig Kimbrel struggled to throw strikes during a save opportunity in the ninth inning against the Cincinnati Reds.

Kimbrel, a seven-time All-Star, walked the bases loaded and then hit Freddy Galvis before being pulled after only recording one out.

"I'm not trying to make excuses for anybody," Ross said postgame, according to Jordan Bastian of MLB.com. "But, we've got to give a little bit of leash. This is a really unique situation that we're dealing with."

Reliever Jeremy Jeffress replaced Kimbrel and registered the last two outs to seal an 8-7 victory.

"We're not losing trust in Craig," Jeffress said, "because he's a phenomenal pitcher."

Kimbrel has struggled since signing a three-year, $43-million contract with Chicago in June 2019. The 32-year-old righty owns a 7.29 ERA with 13 saves in 24 games for the Cubs after accruing a 1.91 ERA with 333 saves between 2010-18.

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Cubs' Ross giving Kimbrel 'a little bit of leash' after rough outing
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