Game Sixteen: Cubs 8, Reds 4
WP – Edwin Jackson (1-1) LP – Tony Cingrani (1-2) Save – None
What Rick Renteria said to his team on Friday worked for at least one day as the Cubs played one of their better games of the season and snapped the team’s five-game skid with a win over the Reds at Wrigley Field.
The entire lineup put together good at bats against Tony Cingrani, ran up his pitch count and jumped out to an early lead. The Cubs scored single runs in the first, second and third innings against Cingrani before breaking out the longball in the sixth and seventh innings. The Cubs scored all three runs in the sixth inning with two outs.
Justin Ruggiano (2-for-3 with a RBI, a walk and two runs scored) had a big game and drove in Emilio Bonifacio (3-for-5 with two runs scored and a stolen base) with a single in the first inning. Mike Olt (1-for-4 with a home run) hit his third longball of the season in the second inning that put the Cubs up 2-0 and Starlin Castro (1-for-4 with a RBI) plated Bonifacio in third with a fielder’s choice.
Darwin Barney (1-for-4 with a home run and two RBI) launched his first homer of the season in the sixth. Barney’s two run shot gave the Cubs a 5-2 lead. Welington Castillo (2-for-4 with a home run, two RBI and two runs scored) gave the Cubs a four-run lead in the seventh with his third homer of the season, a two run shot with Ruggiano on board after a bunt single. Junior Lake (1-for-4 with a RBI and a walk) had a very good game at the plate. Lake worked the count all afternoon and singled in Ryan Kalish with the Cubs’ sixth run in the sixth inning.
Anthony Rizzo (0-for-2 with two walks) worked two of the Cubs’ four walks against Cingrani before he left the game in the eighth inning. Rizzo took himself out of the game due to back spasms and is hoping to be back in the lineup on Sunday.
The Cubs forced Tony Cingrani to throw 70 pitches in three innings. The Reds’ southpaw left the game after five innings and a season-high 104 pitches.
After managing one run in their three previous games, the Cubs scored eight runs on 11 hits with five walks, three home runs and five strikeouts on Saturday afternoon.
Edwin Jackson picked up his first win of the season with a solid performance. The Reds put runners on base in each he was on the mound and finally broke through in the sixth inning. Jackson left with two outs in the sixth and the tying run on third base.
Edwin Jackson avoided the big inning Saturday, threw strikes and had very good command of his slider. Jackson allowed two runs on eight hits with two walks and five strikeouts. Jackson threw 89 pitches, 61 for strikes, over 5 2/3 innings.
Hector Rondon allowed his first run since Sept. 3 of last year in the sixth. The Reds scored two runs, one earned, off Rondon and cut the Cubs’ lead to two runs before Welington Castillo gave the pitching staff a little breathing room with his two run homer. Rondon pitched a 1-2-3 eighth and Pedro Strop, in a non-save situation, retired the top of the Reds’ lineup in order to end the game.
With Saturday’s victory and a rare win over the Reds at Wrigley (2-16 in last 18 games), the Cubs improved to 5-11 on the season.
Edwin Jackson gave up a couple of singles in the first inning, but was able to keep the Reds off the board. Jackson threw 17 pitches in the first inning, 11 for strikes.
Emilio Bonifacio led off the Cubs’ first with a broken bat bloop single to right … just out of the reach of Brandon Phillips. Junior Lake quickly fell behind 0-2. Tony Cingrani paid a lot of attention to Bonifacio and Lake ended up working a walk. Cingrani struck out Rizzo swinging (2-2 pitch) for the first out. Justin Ruggiano worked a full count before lashing a single into left. Bonifacio scored, 1-0 Cubs. Starlin Castro ended up rolling into a 6-4-3 double play on a 3-2 pitch to end the inning. The Cubs forced Cingrani to throw 31 pitches, 18 for strikes, in the first inning.
Mike Olt hooked Cingrani’s first pitch of the second inning inside the left field foul pole. Olt’s third homer of the season gave the Cubs a 2-0 lead. Cingrani retired Castillo (grounder to third), Barney (pop out to short) and Jackson (swinging strikeout) to end the inning, but the approach stayed consistent. The Cubs forced Cingrani to throw 47 pitches, 27 for strikes, over two innings.
Edwin Jackson retired the Reds in the third inning on three pitches thanks to an excellent 4-6-3 double play. Jackson threw 35 pitches, 24 for strikes, over three innings.
Emilio Bonifacio led off the third inning with a sharp single to left. Lake flied out to center for the first out. Bonifacio swiped second on a delayed steal following a 2-2 pitch in the dirt to Anthony Rizzo. Cingrani walked Rizzo and put two on with one out for Ruggiano. Cingrani walked Ruggiano to load the bases with one out. Starlin Castro smoked a 2-1 pitch toward third. The ball drilled Frazier in his midsection. But he kept it in front of him and tagged Rizzo on his way to third for the second out. Bonifacio scored on the play, 3-0 Cubs. Mike Olt pulled a 2-0 pitch toward the 5.5-hole, Frazier made a nice stop and threw out Castro at second to end the inning. Cingrani needed 70 pitches, 36 for strikes, to get through three innings on Saturday.
After three complete, the Cubs led 3-0.
The Reds finally cashed in against Jackson in the sixth. Jay Bruce led off the sixth with a single to center. Todd Frazier flied out to center (2-2 pitch) for the first out. Chris Heisey put together a long at bat that ended with a single to center on the seventh pitch. Devin Mesoraco put the Reds on the board with a double to left. Bruce scored, 3-1 Cubs. With runners on second and third and one down, Zack Cozart put the ball in play and grounded a 0-1 pitch to Barney. Heisey scored, 3-2 Cubs. Rick Renteria went to his pen with two outs in the sixth and replaced Jackson with Wesley Wright. Bryan Price sent up Brayan Pena to hit for Cingrani and he flied out to Ruggiano in right. Justin Ruggiano made a nice sliding catch as he ran in toward the infield for the final out of the inning.
Logan Ondrusek started the sixth for the Reds and the Cubs put a crooked number on the board.
Starlin Castro led off the sixth with a single to right. Mike Olt worked a full count before he struck out swinging. Renteria started Castro on the pitch and he was thrown out at second. Welington Castillo singled to center with two outs. Darwin Barney worked a 3-1 count before launching his first home run of the season into the bleachers in left. Barney gave the Cubs a 5-2 lead with the two-run shot. Ryan Kalish hit for Wright and walked. Emilio Bonifacio kept the line moving with an infield single to short. Cozart fielded the bouncer but could not throw out the speedy Bonifacio. Bryan Price decided that was enough for Ondrusek and went to his pen for Nick Christiani. Junior Lake ripped a 0-1 pitch back through the box and into center. Kalish scored, 6-2 Cubs. Rizzo grounded out to second to end the inning.
At the end of six complete, the Cubs had a 6-2 lead.
Hector Rondon started the seventh inning and gave up a single to right to Billy Hamilton on a 1-2 pitch to start the inning. Joey Votto singled to left center and the Reds had runners on first and second with no outs. Brandon Phillips flied out to right. Hamilton went to third with one down. Jay Bruce singled to left (2-2 pitch) and plated Hamilton with the Reds third run. Todd Frazier flied out to deep right. Ruggiano caught the ball with a foot on the track. Votto tagged and advanced to third with two outs. Chris Heisey stepped in with runners on the corners and chopped a 3-2 pitch toward third. Mike Olt fielded the ball, bobbled it then made an ill-advised throw to first. His throw was well inside the bag. Rizzo had no play but picked up the errant throw and threw a strike to Barney to cut down Heisey to end the inning. Votto scored on the play and reduced the Cubs lead to 6-4.
Justin Ruggiano led off the seventh with a perfectly placed bunt single to third. Nick Christiani retired Castro (pop out to Phillips) and Olt (lineout to short) but Welington Castillo was sitting first pitch fastball and the ball ended up in the first row of the left field bleachers … 8-4 Cubs. Barney flied out to deep left to end the inning.
Hector Rondon pitched a 1-2-3 eighth and Pedro Strop retired Hamilton, Votto and Phillips in order to end the game.
Carlos Villanueva takes on Homer Bailey in the series finale on Sunday afternoon (1:20pm CDT).