Castro Smokes Reds in Debut – Cubs 14 Reds 7

Game Thirty – Cubs 14 Reds 7
WP – Carlos Silva (3-0) LP – Homer Bailey (0-2) Save – None

wflag.jpgOne game does not make a career but Starlin Castro’s big league debut will not soon be forgotten. Starlin Castro made history with a lot of firsts on Friday night.

Starlin Castro became the first player to record six RBI in his first Major League game. The 20-year old shortstop, first player in the majors born in the 90s, hit a three-run homer in his first at bat … on his first swing in the big leagues. Castro’s opposite field homer came on a 2-2 pitch from Homer Bailey.

After lining out to center in his second at bat, Starlin Castro tripled to left center with two outs and the bases loaded. Castro ripped Micah Owing’s 3-2 pitch into the gap and it was off to the races. Castro slid into third with his first career three-base knock. Castro received the call at 7:00am Friday and finished his day 2-for-5 with a home run, a triple, a run scored and six RBI.

The Cubs ended their three-game losing streak with a season-high 14 runs on 15 hits. The offense worked eight walks, six of them scored and hit three home runs. Lou Piniella’s crew left eight on base and finished the night 5-for-19 with runners in scoring position.

Marlon Byrd (2-for-6 with a home run, a double, two runs scored and two RBI) gave the Cubs a 5-0 lead with his sixth longball of the season in the third … and Mike Fontenot hit his first career grand slam in the eighth. Fontenot’s first homer of the year and second career pinch-hit dinger came on the first pitch from Carlos Fisher.

While Starlin Castro will garner a majority of the headlines, and rightfully so, Geovany Soto put together another good night at the plate. Soto was 3-for-4 with two runs scored and a RBI … but Soto’s patience in the fifth plated the Cubs’ sixth run and set the table for Castro’s triple. Soto worked a bases loaded walk against Micah Owings.

Carlos Silva pitched four good innings but fell apart in the fifth after the offense gave him a comfortable 9-0 lead. Micah Owings put the Reds on the board with his first hit of the season … a two-run homer off Silva. Silva continued to struggle and allowed a total of four runs in the fifth on six hits. Silva departed after five and won his third game of the year. Silva’s line: four runs on 10 hits with a walk and three strikeouts on 92 pitches, 61 for strikes.

The Cubs pen, with the exception of John Grabow, did a good job in relief of Carlos Silva. Justin Berg tossed a scoreless sixth. Sean Marshall struck out the side in the seventh (Joey Votto, Scott Rolen and Jay Bruce) and James Russell kept the Reds off the board in the eighth.

John Grabow struggled once again. After recording two quick outs, Joey Votto doubled and before Grabow could record the third out the Reds scored three runs. Grabow walked another batter and gave up three doubles and a single in the ninth. The Reds cut the Cubs lead to 14-7 and had two on when Ramon Hernandez flied out to deep right to end the game.

With the win the Cubs improved to 2-2 on the season against the Reds … and ran their overall record to 14-16.

After the Cubs left runners in scoring position again in the first inning, it looked early on like it was going to be another long, frustrating night for the offense. But Carlos Silva escaped a bases loaded jam in the bottom of the first and kept the Cubs from falling behind again on the road.

Alfonso Soriano walked to start the second. Geovany Soto then singled to right on 3-2 pitch from Homer Bailey … Soto was behind at one point 1-2 in the count. Soriano was running on the pitch and ended up at third.

Starlin Castro stepped in and looked at four pitches from Bailey. Bailey then hung a breaking ball on a 2-2 pitch. Castro ripped it over the wall in right … a three-run shot on his first swing in the majors.

For those that got lost in the excitement, Carlos Silva grounded out to second. Ryan Theriot flied out to right and Kosuke Fukudome struck out swinging to end the inning.

Silva tossed a shutdown inning in the home half of the second … 1-2-3 and the Cubs’ offense went back to work.

Derrek Lee walked to start the third and scored on Marlon Byrd’s two run homer to left center. Byrd’s sixth of the year gave the Cubs a 5-0 lead.

Homer Bailey retired the Cubs in order in the fourth but another leadoff walk led to a big fifth inning.

Kosuke Fukudome walked on four pitches and stole second with Derrek Lee at the plate. Lee walked and chased Bailey from the game. Marlon Byrd popped out to right but Aramis Ramirez blooped a single into center and loaded the bases with one out.

Micah Owings struck out Alfonso Soriano swinging. Geovany Soto walked and forced in Fukudome with the Cubs’ sixth run. Starlin Castro showed patience again at the plate. Castro worked the count to his favor then ripped a 3-2 offering from Owings into the gap in left center. Castro’s bases clearing triple gave the Cubs a 9-0 lead.

Ramon Hernandez led off the bottom of the fifth with a single to left. Micah Owings hit for himself and launched a 3-2 pitch from Silva over the wall in right … 9-2 Cubs. Silva struck out Orlando Cabrera and retired Brandon Phillips on a groundout to first.

The Reds, who have a knack of coming back late in games, scored two runs with two outs after Joey Votto reached on a long single to right. Scott Rolen doubled to left. Jay Bruce then singled in both Votto and Rolen with a drive to left. Jonny Gomes singled to left on a 1-2 pitch but Drew Stubbs lined out to left center for the third out.

At the end of five … 9-4 Cubs.

Ryan Theriot led off the sixth with a single to left. Theriot stole second and scored on Kosuke Fukudome’s double to right … 10-4 Cubs.

The game remained 10-4 until the eighth. Kosuke Fukudome walked to start the inning but was erased on a groundout to third. Rolen forced Fukudome at second but Lee reached on the fielder’s choice. Marlon Byrd just missed his second homer of the game (the ruling was reviewed and showed the ball hit off the top of the wall) and ended up with a double. Aramis Ramirez walked to load the bases.

Mike Fontenot hit for Sean Marshall and cleared the bases with the first grand slam of his career.

Friday was a great debut but it was only one game and one win …

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

Tom Gorzelanny against Aaron Harang under the lights on Saturday night.

Quote of the Day

"The more reasons you have for achieving your goal, the more determined you will become." - Brian Tracy

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