The Cincinnati Reds (14-17) beat the Chicago Cubs (18-13) on Friday night behind a strong start by Tyler Mahle that almost got away from the bullpen. After a long slump to start the year, Eugenio Suárez continued his tear over the last 10 games by going 3-3 with a walk, double, home run, and he drove in three runs as he helped lead the offense that got just enough across the plate on the day.
|Chicago Cubs (18-13)
|Cincinnati Reds (14-17)
|W: Mahle (1-1) L: Hendricks (3-4) SV: Iglesias (4)
|Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread
After a 1-2-3 bottom of the 1st, it was Eugenio Suárez who put the Reds on the board to lead off the bottom of the second with a solo homer – his 7th home run of the season. That cut into the Cubs lead, making it 2-1.
The offense went quiet for a bit, but the hottest hitter on the planet, Jesse Winker, got things going again to lead off the bottom of the 4th by crushing a change up 397 feet and well into the right-center seats to tie the game up at 2-2. Eugenio Suárez crushed a double into left-center and then scored on Matt Davidson’s single – his first hit against a right-handed pitcher all season.
In the bottom of the 5th the Reds started stringing together the hits. Nick Castellanos singled, Jesse Winker doubled, and then the BABIP gods started looking out for the Reds with an Eugenio Suárez blooper just over the infield to bring in two runs with two outs and made it 5-2 for the Redlegs. In the bottom of the 8th inning it was Freddy Galvis joining in on the fun, crushing an opposite field solo homer to extend the Reds lead to 6-2.
Tyler Mahle didn’t get out to the best start, giving up two solo homers in the top of the 1st inning to put the Reds in a 2-0 hole before the team ever stepped to the plate. After walking Jason Heyward to lead off the 2nd inning, Mahle settled in to retire the next eight hitters before again walking Heyward with two outs in the top of the 4th. That wouldn’t come back to haunt, though it was pretty close, as David Bote flew out to the warning track in center to end the inning. The 5th inning was another clean one for Mahle as he picked up his 8th and 9th strikeouts of the night before getting Ian Happ to ground out to end the frame as the rain began to fall from the night sky. With the rain still coming down, Mahle picked up strikeouts 10 and 11 after an Anthony Rizzo ground out to start the 6th as he held onto a 5-2 lead.
The 7th inning for Tyler Mahle was his last, but at no fault of his own. After a long fly ball to center went for out number one, an error on Mike Moustakas put Jason Heyward on first. Then David Bote hit what looked like a perfect double play ball to shortstop, but Jose Garcia couldn’t get the ball out of his glove cleanly at first and Cincinnati only got a force out at second. That was the last hitter that Mahle faced as David Bell went to the bullpen to bring Amir Garrett into the game to face Victor Caratini. The move worked as the left-handed reliever struck out Caratini to end the inning and the threat to hold onto the Reds lead.
Garrett returned for the 8th inning. After retiring Jason Kipnis, Ian Happ singled – the first hit the Cubs had since the 1st inning. That set up another Amir Garrett vs Anthony Rizzo matchup and it worked out quite well for Cincinnati as Garrett induced a ground ball double play to end the inning.
Robert Stephenson came out for the 9th inning, holding a 6-2 lead and looking for three outs. He needed just four pitches to strike out Javier Báez for the first out. Kyle Schwarber hit a line drive into center that went off the tip of the glove of a leaping Jose Garcia. That played big as Willson Contreras homered in the following at-bat to make it 6-4. Jason Heyward, who seemed to be the only Cub all night to do much of anything beyond the first inning kept that theme going with a solo homer of his own to make it 6-5.
That was all that the manager needed to see as the Reds went to Raisel Iglesias to try and record the final two outs of the game. He retired David Bote on two pitches on a weak fly ball to Jesse Winker in shallow left field. That brought Victor Caratini to the plate with the game on the line. Advantage Iglesias, who got a weak ground out to Freddy Galvis to end the game.
Notes worth noting
During the game the Cincinnati Reds announced that they had traded left-handed reliever Cody Reed to the Tampa Bay Rays for right-handed pitching prospect Riley O’Brien.
Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds
(Double Header) Chicago Cubs vs Cincinnati Reds
Saturday August 29th, 4:10pm ET
Yu Darvish (5-1, 1.70 ERA) vs Trevor Bauer (3-1, 1.65 ERA)