Edwin Jackson and the Homer-Happy Cubs Pound the Reds – Cubs 9, Reds 1

Game One Hundred Forty-Four – Cubs 9, Reds 1

WP – Edwin Jackson (8-15) LP – Tony Cingrani (7-4) Save – None

wflag-pubWelington Castillo had a career night, the Cubs hit four home runs and Edwin Jackson allowed only one run over seven innings as the Cubs won their second game in a row in Cincinnati on Tuesday night.

The Cubs lit up the Reds’ bullpen after Tony Cingrani had to leave the game in the second inning with back spasms. After Welington Castillo (3-for-5 with two home runs and three RBI) launched a towering blast off Cingrani in the second inning that traveled an estimated 470 feet and gave the Cubs a 2-0 lead, the Cubs scored in four of the next five innings and built a 9-0 lead before the Reds got on the board.

Donnie Murphy (2-for-5 with a home run, a double and three RBI) gave the Cubs a 4-0 lead in the third with his tenth longball of the season. Darnell McDonald (1-for-5 with a RBI) drove in Junior Lake (2-for-4 with a double, a walk, two runs scored and a stolen base) with the Cubs’ fifth run in the third. The Cubs added single runs in the fourth and sixth innings on a sac fly by Darwin Barney (1-for-2 with a sac fly RBI, two walks and two runs scored) and a double by Donnie Murphy.

Welington Castillo launched his second longball of the night in the seventh, the first multi-homer game of his career and Edwin Jackson (1-for-4 with a home run and two runs scored) hit the Cubs’ fourth homer of the night in the seventh. Jackson’s first home run of the season, and second of his career, capped the Cubs’ scoring.

The Cubs hit four more home runs on Tuesday night which accounted for six of the nine runs. In the first two games of this series, eight of the Cubs’ 11 runs have scored on six home runs. The Cubs offense pounded out 13 hits (three doubles, four home runs) and walked four times.

Edwin Jackson wiggled his way in and out of trouble over the first five innings of the game. Jackson made the big pitch when he needed to early and the Cubs’ defense turned two double plays behind him. The key to Jackson’s success was that he did not walk a single batter on Tuesday night. The Reds had chances early but could not cash them in. Cubs’ pitching kept the Reds off the scoreboard for the first 16 1/3 innings of the series.

Edwin Jackson had good command, with a very good slider, and pitched ahead in the count for a majority of his outing. Jackson allowed one run on nine hits with no walks and four strikeouts. Jackson threw 90 pitches, 68 for strikes.

Chang-Yong Lim made his second appearance and struggled. Lim could not find the strike zone (19 pitches, 10 strikes) and if Dusty Baker had not emptied his bench, Lim’s final line could have a lot of crooked numbers attached to it. Justin Grimm pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning.

After winning only three games against the Reds all season before Monday, the Cubs posted back-to-back victories and picked up a series win in the Queen City in games the Redlegs needed to win in order to stay in the mix for the division crown.

With Tuesday’s victory, the Cubs passed their win total from a season ago and improved to 62-82 on the year.

The Cubs wasted a scoring chance in the first inning after Starlin Castro singled to right (2-2 pitch) to start the game. Darwin Barney walked on four pitches to put two on with no outs for Rizzo. Anthony Rizzo rapped into a 5-4-3 double play. With Castro at third, Donnie Murphy struck out swinging to end the inning. Tony Cingrani threw 18 pitches, 10 for strikes, in the first inning.

Edwin Jackson retired Shin-Soo Choo on a flyout to right and caught Brandon Phillips looking at a 0-2 pitch for the second out. Joey Votto followed with a single to right (2-0 pitch). Ryan Ludwick ripped a double to right center. Jay Bruce stepped in with runners on second and third with two down and grounded out to Rizzo for the third out. Jackson escaped his first jam of the game … 20 pitches for Jackson in the first, 13 for strikes.

Junior Lake led off the second with a double to left center. Darnell McDonald grounded out to third (2-2 pitch) for the first out. Lake swiped third on a 1-0 pitch to Castillo. With the infield in, Welington Castillo crushed a 3-2 pitch from Tony Cingrani. The ball ended up in the upper deck beyond the left field wall and Castillo’s fifth longball of the year, that traveled an estimated 470 feet, put the Cubs up 2-0. Sweeney flied out to left.

Tony Cingrani left the game after missing on his first offering to Edwin Jackson. Cingrani turned the game over to the Reds’ pen after just 1 2/3 innings due to back spasms. Greg Reynolds replaced Cingrani and retired Jackson on a grounder to third to end the inning.

Edwin Jackson worked his way out of a mini-jam in the second inning. Todd Frazier broke his bat and singled to right to start the inning. Dusty Baker started Frazier on a 2-2 pitch to Cozart. Darwin Barney broke to cover the bag and was in position to field the grounder from Cozart. Frazier advanced to second as Barney threw out Cozart at first. Hanigan flied out to left and Reynolds grounded out to short to end the inning. Jackson threw 34 pitches, 24 for strikes, over his first two frames.

At the end of two innings, the Cubs led 2-0.

Darwin Barney reached on a one-out single to right in the third. Votto appeared to lose a ball that he should have turned into an out. Rizzo popped out to Choo in shallow center (2-2 pitch). But Donnie Murphy lifted Reynolds’ first pitch out to left. The ball carried and hit the top of the barrier. Murphy’s tenth longball of the season put the Cubs up by four. Junior Lake lined a 0-1 pitch into the gap in right. Bruce could not cut the ball off, it rolled under his glove and Lake ended up at second on a single and E9. Darnell McDonald blooped Reynolds’ first pitch into center. Choo gave up on the ball, played it on a bounce and Lake scored, 5-0 Cubs. Castillo flied out to left to end the inning.

Edwin Jackson gave up a pair of hits in the third, both balls were squared up, but he wiggled out of trouble again in the third. Choo lined a single to center to start the inning. Phillips grounded into a 3-6-3 double play. Joey Votto followed with a deep drive to left. Lake misplayed the ball into a double. Ludwick struck out swinging on a slider in the dirt (2-2 pitch) to end the inning. Jackson threw 49 pitches in three innings, 35 for strikes. The Reds were 0-for-4 with RISP and left four men on base in three at bats.

The Cubs led 5-0 after three innings.

Ryan Sweeney led off the fourth with a double down the left field line (3-2 pitch). Jackson bunted the ball right back to Reynolds. Sweeney was thrown out at third for the first out. Starlin Castro worked a full count before ripping a single into right. Jackson advanced to third and slid in just ahead of Bruce’s throw. Dusty Baker made the slow walk with runners on the corners and one down. Baker replaced Reynolds with Nick Christiani.

Darwin Barney lifted Christiani’s first pitch into center. Jackson tagged from third. Choo made a strong throw and Jackson slid in as the ball got to the plate. Jackson was called safe, but replays showed the Cubs caught a break. Barney’s sac fly put the Cubs up 6-0. Christiani hit Rizzo and put two on with two down. Murphy popped out to left center to end the inning.

Edwin Jackson retired the side in order in the fourth … 56 pitches for Jackson after four innings, 40 for strikes.

The Cubs did not add onto their lead in the fifth after Junior Lake walked to start the inning.

The Reds threatened in the fifth but came away empty. Ryan Hanigan blooped a single into center to start the inning. Henry Rodriguez hit for Christiani and singled to center. The Reds put runners on first and second with no outs with the top of the lineup due up. Jackson fielded a grounder back up the middle off the bat of Choo and started a 1-6-3 double play. Castro did an excellent job of picking a low throw and completing the double play. With Hanigan at third and two down, Phillips grounded out to Rizzo for the third out. Jackson threw 69 pitches, 50 for strikes, in five innings.

The Cubs took a 6-0 lead into the sixth inning.

Curtis Partch started the sixth by retiring Jackson (foul out to right) and Castro (grounder to short) for the first two outs. Darwin Barney and Anthony Rizzo worked back-to-back walks. Donnie Murphy stepped in and pulled a 2-2 pitch into the left field corner. Barney scored on Murphy’s seventh double of the season, 7-0 Cubs. With runners on second and third with two down, Junior Lake ripped a 1-0 pitch back up the middle. Cozart made a diving stop and his throw just beat Lake to first to end the inning.

Edwin Jackson sat down the side in order in the sixth … 84 pitches for Jackson after six innings, 59 for strikes.

The Cubs added onto their lead in the seventh after Dusty Baker emptied his bench. Curtis Partch stayed in for the seventh and retired McDonald on a grounder to short for the first out.

Welington Castillo drove a 1-2 pitch to deep center, just to the left of straight away center. And Castillo’s second longball of the game put the Cubs up 8-0. Sweeney flied out to center for the second out.

Edwin Jackson got into the act and pulled Partch’s first pitch into the stands in left. Jackson’s first homer of the season, and second of his career, put the Cubs up 9-0. Baker went back to his pen and brought in Zach Duke to face Starlin Castro. Duke retired Castro on a liner to second for the third out.

The Cubs took a 9-0 lead into the bottom of the seventh. Jackson stayed in and retired Jack Hannahan on a flyout to center for the first out. Zack Cozart followed with a double to left. Corky Miller hit for Hanigan and doubled to left. Junior Lake misplayed another ball and that one cost Jackson a run. Lake appeared to lose the ball in the light. Cozart scored, 9-1 Cubs. Jackson retired Heisey on a flyout to right and Billy Hamilton, in his first big league at bat, on a liner to Castro for the third out.

At the end of seven complete, the Cubs had a 9-1 lead.

The Cubs did nothing in the eighth and Chang-Yong Lim made his second appearance in the bottom of the eighth.

Chang-Yong Lim struggled with his command. Lim walked a batter and hit another to load the bases but he was able to pitch out of the jam without allowing any runs.

Welington Castillo added his third hit in the ninth off of Logan Ondrusek but that was all and Justin Grimm retired the Reds in order in the ninth to end a very good, but long, night for the Cubs.

Jeff Samardzija faces Mike Leake in the series and season-series finale against the Reds on Wednesday (11:35am CDT).

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Quote of the Day

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