Game One Hundred Fifty-One – Cubs 6, Reds 1
WP – Jon Lester (18-4) LP – Josh Smith (3-2) Save – None
Jon Lester held the Reds to one run in seven innings and doubled in the first run of the game. The Cubs big bats stepped up behind Lester. Anthony Rizzo drove in three runs. Kris Bryant and Dexter Fowler had RBI. The Cubs scored four runs in the fourth inning all on two-out hits. And the Cubs beat the Reds on a beautiful Tuesday night at the old ballyard.
The Cubs posted their 96th win of the season and inched closer to the team’s next goal. The Nationals lost in Miami 1-0. The Cubs have an eight game lead with 11 games to play on the Nationals for the best record in the National League.
Jon Lester posted his NL-best 18th win on the season with another very good outing. Lester pounded the strike zone and made only one mistake in seven innings.
There was a rather big scare in the sixth inning when a comebacker off the bat of Joey Votto hit Lester in the right wrist. Lester bent over and was obviously in a lot of pain. Lester stayed in and completed two innings before turning the game over to the pen.
Pinch-hitter Steve Selsky singled with two outs in the fifth and scored on a triple by Jose Peraza. That was it for the Reds and the only run Cubs’ pitching gave up Tuesday night.
The Cubs defense had another good game. Lester pitched around the Cubs’ lone error, a misplayed ball by Ben Zobrist in the fourth inning.
Jon Lester allowed one run on six hits without walking a batter. Lester struck out five on 97 pitches, 63 for strikes.
Carl Edwards Jr. pitched in and out of a jam in the eighth after issuing a two out walk to Adam Duvall and giving up a single to Brandon Phillips. Edwards Jr. struck out Scott Schebler swinging to end the inning. Joe Maddon used Trevor Cahill and Travis Wood in the ninth to close out the game.
For his second straight start, Jon Lester (1-for-2 with a double, a walk, a run scored and a RBI) drove in the eventual game winner. Lester just missed a home run to right center in the second inning. Lester crushed a ball with two outs that allowed David Ross (1-for-4 with a run scored) to chug around the bases and fall down headfirst into the plate with the first run of the game.
Jon Lester had a big impact early in the game offensively. Lester worked a two out walk that prolonged the fourth inning and put two on for Dexter Fowler (2-for-3 with two walks, two runs scored and a RBI).
Fowler followed Lester’s walk with a single to center. Jason Heyward (1-for-2 with two walks and a run scored) scored. Lester stopped at second and scored on a bloop double by Kris Bryant (3-for-5 with two doubles, a run scored and a RBI). Bryant had three hits, two doubles, and his first two-basehit was a gift from Joey Votto and the Reds defense. Votto ran into shallow right near the line with his back to the infield and simply did not catch the ball.
Anthony Rizzo (2-for-5 with three RBI) made the Reds pay. With runners on second and third, Rizzo lashed a 3-2 pitch from Wandy Peralta into left field. Fowler and Bryant scored, 5-0 Cubs.
The Cubs added a run in the sixth on another Anthony Rizzo single. Fowler walked and stole second with Rizzo at the plate. Rizzo singled to center, Fowler scored and the Cubs went up 6-1.
And that was the final score as the Cubs improved to 96-55 on the season with Tuesday’s win over the Reds.
John Lackey takes on rookie right-hander Robert Stephenson in the series finale with the Reds on Wednesday night (7:05pm CDT).