Game Fifty-Eight – Cubs 6, Reds 3
WP – Travis Wood (3-2) LP – Michael Lorenzen (1-2) Save – Hector Rondon (11)
Miguel Montero hit a three-run homer in the first inning. Dexter Fowler added a solo shot into the right field bleachers leading off the third and Kris Bryant doubled in Addison Russell in the fifth. Travis Wood and the bullpen shut down the Reds for six innings as the Cubs started the homestand with a win on Thursday night.
The Cubs picked up where they left off in Detroit and jumped out to an early lead Thursday night.
Miguel Montero (2-for-3 with a home run, a walk and three RBI) cranked a three-run homer, his second three-run blast in as many games, just to the right of straight away center in the first inning after an Anthony Rizzo (1-for-3 with a double, a walk, a HBP and a run scored) double and a walk by Kris Bryant (1-for-4 with a double, a RBI, a walk and a run scored).
Dexter Fowler (2-for-4 with a home run and a walk) gave the Cubs a 4-2 lead in the third with a towering homer into the brand new bleachers in right.
The Cubs managed eight hits but kept the pressure on the Reds all night. The Cubs worked five walks and Rizzo was hit by a pitch for the 14th time this season. The offense finished the game 2-for-7 with RISP and left nine men on base with 10 strikeouts.
Travis Wood and the bullpen stepped up behind a struggling Tsuyoshi Wada.
Joe Maddon lifted Wada in the fourth inning when he served up a solo homer to Chris Dominguez that made it a 4-3 ballgame. After cruising through the first inning, Wada could not finish off batters. The Reds scored two runs on a triple by Michael Lorenzen during a 37-pitch second inning. Wada labored through the third after giving up a leadoff double to Joey Votto. When the ball left the yard in the fourth, Maddon did not have a choice but to pull his starter. It was obvious Wada didn’t have it again.
Tsuyoshi Wada allowed three runs on four hits with two walks and four strikeouts. Wada threw 73 pitches, 47 for strikes, in three-plus innings.
Travis Wood earned the win that he received Thursday. Wood pitched 2 1/3 innings of scoreless ball. Wood allowed one hit, a leadoff single by Ivan DeJesus Jr. in the fifth, and did not walk a batter while striking out one.
Justin Grimm picked up the last two outs in the sixth. James Russell pitched a 1-2-3 seventh inning. And Pedro Strop retired the Reds in order in the eighth.
Hector Rondon was back on the hill for the ninth inning. Rondon gave up a seeing-eye single to Eugenio Suarez with two outs in the ninth, but that was all. Rondon made 14 pitches, 10 for strikes, in route to save No. 11.
With Thursday’s win, the Cubs improved to 32-26 on the season … six games over .500 matches a season-high for the Cubs.
Tsuyoshi Wada made quick work of the Reds in the first inning … three-up, three down on 10 pitches, seven for strikes.
The Cubs went to work on Michael Lorenzen in the home half. After Dexter Fowler flied out to left (0-1 pitch), Anthony Rizzo drove a 1-1 pitch to the opposite alley. The ball one-hopped the ivy and Rizzo ended up at second with a double. Bryant quickly fell behind 0-2 before showing off his excellent eye. Kris Bryant went from 0-2 to 4-2 and his free pass put two on with one down.
Miguel Montero looked at three straight out of the zone. He fouled off the 3-0 pitch. Montero launched a 3-2 offering into the first row of the bleachers just to the right of straight away center. Montero’s second three-run homer in as many days gave the Cubs a 3-0 lead.
Starlin Castro was caught looking at a 2-2 pitch and Coghlan tapped back to the mound to end the inning.
The Cubs had a 3-0 lead after one complete.
Tsuyoshi Wada struck out Jay Bruce looking for the first out in the second. Brayan Pena singled to center on a 1-2 pitch. Wada struck out Chris Dominguez looking and jumped ahead of Eugenio Suarez. Wada could not put the rookie away and walked him.
With runners on first and second with two down, Michael Lorenzen drove a 0-1 pitch to deep right center. The ball hit off the base of the wall, and just missed landing in the basket. Pena and Suarez scored on the first triple of Lorenzen’s big league career, 3-2 Cubs. Wada walked Kris Negron on four pitches. With runners on the corners, Ivan DeJesus Jr. popped out to right to finally end the inning. Wada made 37 pitches in the second inning and it took him 47 pitches, 27 for strikes, to complete two innings.
The Cubs went down in order in the second.
After two innings, the Cubs led 3-2.
Joey Votto led off the third with a double off the vines in left center. Wada caught Frazier looking at a 0-2 pitch for the first out. Jay Bruce grounded out to Rizzo, Votto advanced to third but was stranded when Pena grounded out to Castro for the third out.
Dexter Fowler started the third with a booming home run into the new bleachers in right. Fowler’s solo shot made it a 4-2 game. Rizzo walked on four pitches. Lorenzen struck out Bryant and Montero swinging. After a wild pitch allowed Rizzo to take second base, Starlin Castro tapped a 3-2 pitch in front of the plate. Castro thought the ball was going foul, it did not. Castro did not run and was an easy out to end the inning.
The Cubs had a 4-2 lead after three innings.
With Travis Wood warming in the pen, Tsuyoshi Wada started the fourth inning. And Chris Dominguez pulled a 2-2 pitch into the bleachers in left. Dominguez’s first home run of the season cut the Cubs’ lead to 4-3 and ended Wada’s night.
Joe Maddon went to his bullpen for Travis Wood. The day after pitching the ninth inning in Detroit, Wood retired Suarez (pop out to center), Lorenzen (flyout to left) and Negron (grounder to second) to end the inning.
The Cubs lead was 4-3 after four innings.
Travis Wood kept the Reds off the board in the fifth and his teammates went back to work against Lorenzen in the home half.
Addison Russell led off the fifth with a single to left. Fowler flied out to left (3-2 pitch). Anthony Rizzo was hit with a 96 mph fastball on a 1-2 pitch.
With two on and one out, Kris Bryant pulled a 2-2 pitch down the left field line. The ball rolled all the way into the corner. Russell scored easily, 5-3 Cubs. Rizzo stopped at third on Bryant’s double. Montero was intentionally walked to load the bases.
Bryan Price decided that was enough for Michael Lorenzen and went to his bullpen for Burke Badenhop.
Starlin Castro struck out swinging on a 2-2 pitch.
Chris Coghlan put the ball in play, a swinging bunt just up the third baseline. Pena tried a barehanded pickup, could not get a handle on the baseball. Rizzo scored from third and made it a 6-3 game on the error by the Reds’ catcher. With the bags juiced, Junior Lake struck out swinging to end the inning.
The Cubs had a 6-3 lead after five innings.
And that would end up being the final score. The Cubs had chances to tack on against the Reds bullpen but could not come through with a run scoring hit after the fifth inning.
Justin Grimm, James Russell, Pedro Strop and Hector Rondon gave up a combined one hit in relief of Travis Wood.
Jason Hammel and Johnny Cueto square off on Friday afternoon (3:05pm CDT) at the old ballyard.