Game Nineteen – Cubs 9, Reds 0
WP – Jason Hammel (3-0) LP – Alfredo Simon (0-2) Save – None
Anthony Rizzo blasted two home runs. Jason Heyward drove in three runs. Tommy La Stella doubled twice, hit a home run and scored three times. And Jason Hammel shut out the Reds for six innings as the Cubs beat the Reds on Sunday afternoon in Cincinnati.
The Cubs bounced back from an ugly loss and took the series in Cincinnati with another impressive game from the offense and a dominating pitching performance.
The top of the Cubs lineup was on base all afternoon and smacked three homers at the Great American Launching Pad.
For the 10th time in his career, Anthony Rizzo (2-for-4 with two home runs, a walk and four RBI) hit multiple longballs in the same game. Rizzo gave the Cubs a 3-0 lead in the first inning with a two-run homer. Rizzo went yard again in the third and his second two run shot of the day basically put the game away.
Anthony Rizzo is tied for the Major League lead in homers with eight. And his eight longballs are the most for a Cubs’ player through 19 games since Billy Williams hit eight in 1970.
Jason Heyward (4-for-5 with a double, a stolen base, a run scored and three RBI) drove in three of the Cubs first five runs with a pair of singles, one in the first that plated Tommy La Stella (3-for-5 with two doubles, a home run and three runs scored) and a two-out knock in the second inning. Heyward had four hits Sunday, the seventh four-hit game of his career.
Tommy La Stella doubled twice and smacked his first home run of the season on Sunday afternoon. La Stella subbing for Dexter Fowler at the top of the lineup set the table early with an impressive day at the plate.
Kris Bryant (2-for-3 with a double, two walks and a run scored) quietly went about his business and was on base four times.
The first four hitters in Joe Maddon’s lineup (La Stella, Heyward, Bryant and Rizzo) were a combined 11-for-17 with four doubles, three home runs, three walks, six runs scored and eight RBI.
Jason Hammel was really, really good once again Sunday. Hammel’s performance will be overlooked due to the offensive output but shouldn’t be. Hammel handcuffed the same Reds offense that put up 13 runs on Saturday night.
Hammel completed six innings on Sunday and pounded the strike zone with an excellent mix throughout his outing. Hammel surrendered three hits and walked two. Hammel struck out seven batters on 96 pitches, 66 for strikes.
Adam Warren, Travis Wood and Hector Rondon finished what Hammel started as the Cubs shutout the Reds for the second time in four games. Chris Bosio’s staff has four shutouts on the young season.
Here’s how Sunday’s game played out:
Tommy La Stella, hitting leadoff for Maddon on Sunday afternoon, started the game with a double off the center field wall. La Stella just missed a home run. Jason Heyward ripped Simon’s first pitch into center. La Stella scored and the Cubs took a 1-0 lead. Kris Bryant flied out to deep left for the first out. Heyward stole second base on the first pitch to Rizzo.
Anthony Rizzo pulled a 1-1 pitch to deep right center. Scott Schebler tried to make a leaping catch at the wall. It was just out of his reach and Rizzo circled the bases … 3-0 Cubs on Rizzo’s two-run shot.
The umps took a look because it appeared a fan interfered with the ball. Video replay upheld the call on the field and Jason Hammel made his way to the mound with a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first after Soler and Montero struck out to end the inning.
The Cubs went back to work against Alfredo Simon in the second inning following a 1-2-3 first from Hammel. Matt Szczur flied out to left and Jay Bruce robbed Addison Russell of an extra basehit with an excellent running catch at the wall in right.
Jason Hammel (1-for-3 with a run scored) stepped in with two outs and worked a full count before reaching on an infield single. Hammel grounded the ball back up the middle. Phillips fielded the ball but did not make a throw. La Stella lined a 1-2 pitch into the right field corner. Hammel lumbered around second and stopped at third on a double from La Stella.
Jason Heyward singled to right. Hammel and La Stella scored, 5-0 Cubs. With Bryant at the plate, Tucker Barnhart threw out Heyward at second from his knees to end the inning.
Jason Hammel made quick work of the Reds in the second with a pair of strikeouts and a flyout to left center.
Kris Bryant started the third with a base on balls. And he was on board when Rizzo teed off.
Anthony Rizzo obliterated the first pitch from Simon. The ball traveled 414 feet over the wall in center field and the Cubs took a 7-0 lead on Rizzo’s second blast of the game.
Jorge Soler (1-for-5 with a run scored) singled to center following Rizzo’s two-run homer. Montero lined out to short. Matt Szczur bounced a 0-2 pitch back up the middle. Simon tried to make a play, knocked the ball down and then bobbled it. Szczur reached on Simon’s error and the Cubs had runners on first and second with one out.
Addison Russell (1-for-4 with a walk and a RBI) singled to center. Soler scored the Cubs took an 8-0 lead and Bryan Price let Simon face Hammel. Simon struck out Hammel and Price went to his pen for Drew Hayes. La Stella grounded out to first base to end the inning.
Jason Hammel gave up his first hit, a leadoff single from Tucker Barnhart in the third inning. Hammel hung a zero on the board and the game went to the fourth with the Cubs leading 8-0.
The Cubs added a jug run in the sixth inning. And it was Tommy La Stella again crossing the plate. La Stella pulled the first pitch from Drew Hayes into the stand in right. La Stella’s first homer of the year made it 9-0 Cubs. Bryant reached on a one out double to right center and moved to third when Rizzo grounded out to third. Bryant was stranded when Soler flied out to center field.
Jason Hammel gave up a one-out single to Suarez and walked Votto in the sixth. Hammel ended his afternoon by striking out Phillips and inducing a grounder to first off the bat of Jay Bruce for the third out. The Cubs led 9-0 after six complete.
And that would be the final score.
Adam Warren pitched a scoreless seventh. Travis Wood completed a 1-2-3 eighth inning and Hector Rondon got some much needed work in the ninth. Rondon recorded the last three outs of the game on 11 pitches, seven for strikeouts.
With Sunday’s win, the Cubs finished the seven-game road trip with a 5-2 record and improved to 14-5 on the season.
Monday is a day off. The Cubs open a six-game homestand on Tuesday with the first of three against the Brewers. Kyle Hendricks is scheduled to face Jimmy Nelson.