Cubs Fight Back and Beat the Reds – Cubs 6, Reds 4

Game Ninety-One: Cubs 6, Reds 4 – 12 innings

WP – Blake Parker (1-0) LP – J.J. Hoover (1-6) Save – None

wflag-pub2014It took 12 innings and a spark from Arismendy Alcantara for the Cubs to salvage the finale of the five-game series in Cincinnati and beat the Reds. The Cubs snapped their losing skid with an impressive comeback victory Thursday afternoon and finished the 11-game road trip with a 5-6 record.

Thursday was a wild game that the Cubs were able to win, and there has not been too many times over the past three years the Cubs would come out on the right side of this type of game.

After a rough first inning in which he allowed three runs and was squeezed by homeplate umpire Mark Wegner, Kyle Hendricks settled down and put together a good game in his Major League debut. Hendricks allowed one run over his last five innings and retired eight in a row and 13 of 14 batters from the second through the fifth inning. Hendricks ran into a little trouble in the sixth but after a meeting on the mound with Rick Renteria, Hendricks was left in to face pinch-hitter Jay Bruce with two on, two down and the Cubs trailing 4-3 at that point. Hendricks struck out Jay Bruce swinging to end the inning.

Kyle Hendricks allowed four runs on five hits with three walks, one intentional, a hit batsman and seven strikeouts. Hendricks completed six innings in his first big league start and threw 95 pitches, 63 for strikes.

The Cubs pen did an excellent job of keeping the Reds off the board over the final six innings and giving the offense a chance to put runs on the board.

Arismendy Alcantara (4-for-5 with a double, a triple, three RBI, two runs scored and a sacrifice fly) sparked the Cubs comeback and was in the middle of each of the four innings in which the Cubs scored Thursday. Alcantara drove in half of the Cubs’ six runs and scored two of the other three.

Alcantara plated Kyle Hendricks (0-for-1 with a sacrifice bunt and a run scored) with a sac fly in the third and doubled in two runs in the fifth with his first big league hit. Alcantara reached on an infield single in the eighth and scored the tying run on a single by Starlin Castro (2-for-6 with a RBI and a run scored). And Alcantara reached with a one out infield single in the 12th and scored the go ahead run on a two-run triple by Luis Valbuena (1-for-5 with a triple, a walk and two RBI).

PrintArismendy Alcantara collected his first hit in the majors off Homer Bailey in the fifth inning. Alcantara and Starlin Castro (May 7, 2010) both notched their first big league hits at Great American Ball Park off Homer Bailey.

Both benches and bullpens emptied before the bottom of the ninth inning after Aroldis Chapman threw two 100-plus mph fastballs over Nate Schierholtz’s head in the top of the inning, taunted the Cubs dugout and yelled at Anthony Rizzo from the Reds dugout. Punches were not thrown and no one was ejected, but both benches were warned.

Aroldis Chapman went head hunting with a 100-mph fastball and should be suspended for his actions in Thursday’s game.

Homer Bailey left Thursday’s game in the sixth inning with pain in the patellar tendon in his right knee. Bailey is not expected to miss his next start.

With Thursday’s win, the Cubs improved to 39-52 on the season.

Kyle Hendricks was shaky at best in his first big league inning, but he did not get the calls when he threw strikes from homeplate umpire Mark Wegner. Hendricks issued a four-pitch walk to Chris Heisey to start his outing and missed on his first three pitches to Skip Schumaker. Hendricks walked Schumaker and put two on with no outs for Todd Frazier. Hendricks jumped ahead of Frazier 0-2 before he jammed the Reds’ third baseman and he popped out to Castro. Brayan Pena ripped a 2-2 pitch into the right field corner for a double. Heisey scored and the Reds went up 1-0. Ryan Ludwick smoked Hendricks’ first pitch into left. Schumaker scored, 2-0 Reds. With runners on the corners and one out, Ramon Santiago blooped a single into left. Pena scored and the Reds took a 3-0 lead. After an error by Coghlan allowed Santiago to take second and put runners on second and third with one out, Zack Cozart hit a grounder to Valbuena. Ludwick was caught in a long rundown and was eventually tagged out. With runners on second and third with two outs, Hendricks intentionally walked Tucker Barnhart. Homer Bailey fouled out to Nate Schierholtz down the right field line to end the inning.

Kyle Hendricks labored through a 33-pitch (16 strikes) first inning and after one inning, the Cubs were down 3-0.

The game remained 3-0 Reds through the second inning.

John Baker walked to start the third. Kyle Hendricks got the bunt down, but Tucker Barnhart picked up the ball and threw out Baker at second base. Chris Coghlan just missed his second home run of the day and settled for a double off the top of the wall in left. Hendricks lumbered to third and held with one out. Arismendy Alcantara lifted Bailey’s first pitch into left center. Chris Heisey caught the ball, Hendricks tagged and slid in just ahead of Barnhart’s tag, 3-1 Reds. Rizzo popped out to Pena in foul ground to end the inning.

The Reds got the run back in the bottom of the third. After Pena grounded out to second, Ryan Ludwick hit a solo homer to left, 4-1 Reds. Hendricks settled back in and retired Santiago on a grounder to second and Cozart on a pop out to third to end the inning. Hendricks needed 57 pitches, 35 for strikes, to complete three innings.

After three innings, the Cubs trailed 4-1.

The Reds took a 4-1 lead into the fifth inning. Kyle Hendricks did not allow the Reds to add to their lead fourth frame.

Nate Schierholtz grounded out to short for the first out in the fifth. Bailey hit John Baker with a 1-2 offering. Hendricks bunted Baker to second and Coghlan worked a walk. With runners on first and second with two outs, Arismendy Alcantara lifted a 1-0 pitch out to left. The ball one-hopped the wall and both Baker and Coghlan scored on Alcantara’s first big league hit … 4-3 Reds. Rizzo flied out to center to end the inning.

Kyle Hendricks set the side down in order in the fifth. Hendricks threw 77 pitches, 51 for strikes, in five innings.

The Cubs trailed 4-3 after five innings.

Jonathan Broxton took the hill in the eighth with the Reds up 4-3. Arismendy Alcantara worked a 2-2 count before bouncing one back up the middle and off Broxton’s glove. The ball trickled toward short and Cozart did not have a play at first on the speedy Alcantara. Rizzo hit a hard grounder toward first that Pena fielded cleanly and went to the bag. Pena threw to second, but his throw was off the mark and Alcantara went to third. Starlin Castro singled to center, Alcantara scored and the game was tied at four. Valbuena hit into a 3-6-1 double play to end the inning.

The Reds loaded the bases in the bottom of the eighth after an error by Anthony Rizzo prolonged the inning. Strop fell behind Heisey 3-0 before striking him out to end the inning.

The game went to the ninth tied at four.

Aroldis Chapman created unnecessary drama in the ninth. Chapman was in total control after striking out the Cubs in order in the ninth Wednesday night. Chapman struck out Justin Ruggiano swinging for the first out, then for some reason he decided to throw two 100-plus fastballs over Nate Schierholtz’s head. Once Chapman decided to play Major League Baseball again, he struck out Schierholtz swinging. Chapman decided that was a good time to taunt the Cubs dugout. Chapman strolled toward the dugout and neither Rizzo nor Coghlan liked what they saw. And told him to quit starring into the dugout. Chapman walked John Baker and he pimped his walk. Junior Lake hit for Strop and grounded out to second to end the inning.

According to reports from the park, Chapman went toward the end of the Reds dugout after the inning was over and began shouting at Rizzo after he took his position in the field. Replays showed Rizzo go toward the Reds dugout after he took his hat off and threw his glove to the ground. The benches and bullpens emptied but no punches were thrown and no one was ejected from the game.

Neil Ramirez set down the Reds in order and the game went to extra innings.

The Cubs were not able to cash in a one-out triple by Arismendy Alcantara in the 10th. Jumbo Diaz intentionally walked Anthony Rizzo before striking out Starlin Castro for the second out. Luis Valbuena was given a walk, Diaz threw strikes and did not get the calls. With the bases loaded and two down, Justin Ruggiano popped Diaz’s first pitch up to Pena in foul ground to end the inning.

Hector Rondon issued a one out walk to Santiago in the bottom of the 10th, but that was all for the Reds and the game went to the 11th tied at four.

The Cubs could not string together any hits in the 11th against J.J. Hoover and Blake Parker retired the side in order in the 11th … the game went to the 12th still tied at four.

Chris Coghlan struck out swinging for the first out in the 12th. Arismendy Alcantara collected his fourth hit of the game, an infield single to Todd Frazier at third base. Alcantara dribbled the ball toward Frazier and out ran the play to first. Rizzo struck out swinging for the second out. Starlin Castro reached on an infield single to the hole at short. And Luis Valbuena stepped in with runners on first and second with two down. Valbuena launched a 3-1 pitch to deep right. Skip Schumaker tried to make a leaping catch at the wall, the ball hit off his glove and rolled away. Alcantara and Castro scored easily and Valbuena was waived around third. Pena threw a strike to Mesoraco and after Valbuena danced around Mesoraco, the Reds catcher tagged him before Valbuena could lunge back and touch the plate. Rick Renteria challenged the play because Valbuena was not given a lane in which to slide. The call was upheld and the Cubs took a 6-4 lead.

Blake Parker worked around a leadoff single to Todd Frazier and struck out both Ludwick and Santiago swinging to end the game.

The Cubs open a three-game series Friday afternoon (3:05pm CDT) at Wrigley against the Braves. Jake Arrieta is scheduled to face lefty Alex Wood in the opener.

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