Game Six – Cubs 7, Reds 6 – 10 innings
WP – Hector Rondon (1-0) LP – Manny Parra (0-1) Save – None
For the second time in as many days the Cubs won a game in their last at bat. With the bases loaded and one out in the 10th inning, Arismendy Alcantara singled to center on a 0-2 pitch and plated Jorge Soler with the game winner. The Cubs completed the comeback and topped the Reds in the opener of the three-game series.
Jorge Soler (3-for-5 with two home runs, three runs scored and four RBI) had a huge night at the plate and in the field. Soler hit not one but two, two-run home runs. Soler’s first blast came in the first inning with Anthony Rizzo (2-for-3 with two walks and two runs scored) on board. And Soler’s second longball on the night came in the eighth, with Rizzo on first base, and tied the game at six.
Jorge Soler also picked up Jon Lester in the second inning when his second throw to first base sailed over Rizzo’s head. Soler grabbed the ball and fired a strike toward third. Jonathan Herrera caught the ball and applied the tag on Zack Cozart ten feet from the bag, the play was not close.
The Cubs offense bailed out Jon Lester on Monday night.
Chris Coghlan (3-for-4 with a double, a home run, a walk and two runs scored) collected three more hits and was on base four times. Coghlan made it a 6-4 game in the sixth with his second homer of the season and he finished the game at third base.
Starlin Castro (1-for-5 with a RBI) tied the game at three in the first inning with a single that plated Chris Coghlan.
And Arismendy Alcantara (1-for-5 with a RBI) picked up his first hit of the season in the tenth, the game winner that plated Jorge Soler.
The Cubs pounded out 10 hits, four for extra bases, worked the count all night. The Cubs walked (5) more times than they struck out (4) on Monday.
Jon Lester had another rough night. Lester gave up three runs on four hits in the first inning. Lester settled down somewhat in the second and was solid in the third, fourth and fifth innings. Lester was tagged for three more runs in the sixth.
For the first time since April 30, 2013, Lester made a throw to first base. Lester tossed to first with Kris Negron at the plate in the second inning. Lester was successful in his first attempt, but his second throw sailed and it took a sensational throw from Jorge Soler to clean up his mistake.
Jon Lester gave up six runs, all earned, on 10 hits without a walk and four strikeouts. Lester threw 95 pitches, 59 for strikes, over six innings.
The Cubs pen recorded four scoreless innings in relief of Lester.
Brian Schlitter pitched a 1-2-3 seventh, Jason Motte pitched a scoreless eighth and Pedro Strop retired the Reds in order in the night. Hector Rondon did not allow a Joey Votto leadoff double to score, with help from Chris Coghlan, and picked up his first win of the season.
The Cubs pen allowed a total of three baserunners in four innings.
The Cubs are two games over .500 for the first time since the end of the 2009 season.
The Reds jumped on Jon Lester in the first inning. And if not for a leaping catch by Starlin Castro, the opening frame would have been a lot worse for Lester.
Kris Negron lined a 2-2 pitch toward left center to start the game. Starlin Castro made a leaping catch and took at least a single away from the Reds centerfielder. Joey Votto pulled Lester’s first pitch into the right field corner. Votto ended up at third with a triple. Joe Maddon brought his infield in. Todd Frazier drove a 0-2 pitch to right. Votto scored and Frazier ended up a second with a double. Brandon Phillips followed with a single to right. Frazier held at third with one out.
Marlon Byrd rolled one to third, but Jonathan Herrera’s only play was at first base. Frazier scored, 2-0 Reds and Phillips moved to second on the play. Jay Bruce singled to left (2-2 pitch) and Phillips scored, 3-0 Reds. Bruce stole second on the first pitch to Brayan Pena. Lester retired Pena on a grounder to first (2-0 pitch) to finally end the inning. The Reds scored three runs on four hits and Lester threw 23 pitches, 16 for strikes, in the first inning.
The Cubs got even in the bottom of the first. After Dexter Fowler struck out swinging, Anthony Rizzo worked a full count before he singled to right.
Jorge Soler stepped in and pulled a 1-2 pitch into the bleacher area in left. Soler’s first homer of the season cut the Reds lead to 3-2. Chris Coghlan followed Soler’s blast with a double to left and scored when Starlin Castro singled to left. Just like that, the Cubs tied the game at three. Alcantara grounded out to the hole at second, Castro advanced to second on the play. Mike Leake intentionally walked David Ross. And Jon Lester lined out to Cozart at short to end the inning.
After one complete, the game was tied at three.
Jon Lester settled down after the second inning and retired eight in a row before Phillips reached with a one out single in the top of the sixth.
With the game tied at three, Phillips singled to left with one down in the sixth. Marlon Byrd pulled a 1-1 pitch into the left field corner. Phillips scored, 4-3 Reds. Jay Bruce doubled to right (2-2 pitch) and Byrd scored, 5-3 Reds. Pena singled to right on a 2-0 pitch. Jim Riggleman didn’t test Soler and held Bruce at third with one down. Zack Cozart made it a three-run sixth inning for the Reds. Cozart hit a grounder to short that Castro fielded cleanly and flipped to Alcantara. The ball was not hit hard enough to turn two. Bruce scored as Cozart beat Alcantara’s throw to first, 6-3 Reds. Lester struck out Mike Leake swinging to end the inning … and his night.
Chris Coghlan led off the sixth with a solo homer to right. Coghlan’s second longball of the season cut the Reds lead to 6-4. Leake retired Castro (liner to right), Alcantara (bunt back to Leake) and Ross (grounder to short) to end the inning.
The Cubs trailed 6-4 after six innings.
Brian Schlitter put a zero on the board in the seventh and Jason Motte pitched a scoreless eighth.
Bryan Price went to his pen in the eighth for Jumbo Diaz. And Anthony Rizzo worked a walk to start the inning.
Jorge Soler crushed a 0-2 pitch from Diaz. The ball shot off Soler’s bat and ended up over the wall in center. Soler’s second longball of the night tied the game at six. Soler stepped up and waived at the crowd at Wrigley, a curtain call for the young right fielder.
Diaz retired Coghlan (pop out to Phillips in short right), Castro (grounder to third) and Alcantara (grounder to second) in order to end the eighth.
The game was tied at six after eight complete.
Pedro Strop pitched a 1-2-3 ninth and the Cubs tried to end it regulation against J.J. Hoover in the ninth.
Miguel Montero hit for Ross and walked. Matt Szczur bunted Montero to second. Maddon sent up Welington Castillo to hit for Jonathan Herrera. Castillo lined out to a diving Marlon Byrd in left for the second out. Dexter Fowler grounded out to first to end the inning … and the game went to the 10th all tied at six.
Hector Rondon took the hill in the 10th and Chris Coghlan moved from left field to third base.
Joey Votto led off the tenth with a double to right. Frazier hit a one-hopper to the first side of the mound. Rondon picked up the ball and threw toward third. Coghlan caught the bad throw and dove toward a sliding Votto. Coghlan tagged Votto before he touched third for the first out of the inning. With Frazier at first, Phillips lined out to left. Byrd reached on a slow roller toward third. Coghlan tried to make a play but bobbled the ball. With runners on first and second and one out, Rondon struck out Jay Bruce swinging (1-2 pitch) to end the inning.
Manny Parra, and not Aroldis Chapman, started the tenth and walked Anthony Rizzo. A wild pitch on a 2-2 offering to Soler allowed Rizzo to move up ninety feet. Jorge Soler smoked a 3-2 pitch into left. Rizzo had to freeze and could only advance to third. Soler hit the ball too hard. Coghlan walked to load the bases with no outs.
Bryan Price went to his pen and replaced Manny Parra with Burke Badenhop.
With the bases loaded, the infield in and no outs, Starlin Castro pulled a 0-2 pitch to Cozart. The Reds shortstop fielded the ball and threw home to force Rizzo.
Arismendy Alcantara stepped in hitless on the young season. Alcantara singled to center on a 0-2 pitch past a drawn in infield. Jorge Soler scored, Cubs Win!
Jake Arrieta takes the ball against Anthony DeSclafani in game two with the Reds on Tuesday night.