Saturday wasn’t always fun for the Cincinnati Reds (15-18), but a walk-off win in the bottom of the 7th inning of game two led to a split against the Chicago Cubs (19-14) on the day and earned them at least a split of the weekend series.

Game 1 Recap: Dingers and Pitching – the Reds win

Final R H E
Chicago Cubs (19-13) 3 4 2
Cincinnati Reds (14-18) 0 7 0
W: Darvish (6-1) L: Bauer (3-2) SV: Jeffress (4)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

The Cubs scored. The Reds didn’t. There was some bad baserunning, some bad luck on the bases, and a lot of good pitching by Chicago as they took the first game of the double header on Saturday.

The Offense

There wasn’t a whole lot of it. Joey Votto was back in the starting lineup and he was hitting leadoff. He got the job done, too, going 2-4 with a double. Mike Moustakas also had two hits, going 2-2 with a walk. The Reds offense just couldn’t put together enough hits to make things happen. Whenever they threatened, things simply couldn’t come together against Yu Darvish, who dominated once again.

The Pitching

Trevor Bauer was solid, but unspectacular on the day. He allowed two home runs, and three runs total in 5.1 innings pitched. Unfortunately the offense never got going and he was pitching from behind from the second inning on, and left the game trailing 3-0. José De León came out of the bullpen to pitch the final 1.2 innings and he did so in perfect fashion, striking out three Cubs along the way.

Game 2 Recap: The offense, pitching keep rolling

Final R H E
Chicago Cubs (19-14)
5 7 0
Cincinnati Reds (15-18)
6 7 1
W: Kuhnel (1-0) L: Kimbrel (0-1)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

After opening up a big lead early, the Cubs clawed back to eventually tie things up late. Cincinnati got some help from Craig Kimbrel in the 7th inning, and took full advantage of his struggles to walk off the game with Nick Castellanos scoring the winning run on a pitch that got away from catcher Willson Contreras.

The Offense

Joey Votto wasted no time tying the game up after the Cubs led off the game with a home run, the Reds first baseman hit one of his own. Two innings later the Reds played long ball again. First it was Curt Casali with a solo shot, but then Jesse Winker followed up a Nick Castellanos single to make it a 4-1 game.

After the Cubs got back into the game with a 2-run top of the 4th, the Reds started to get something going in the bottom of the inning with a leadoff single by Jose Garcia. Then things got a little out of hand after a high and tight pitch came to Shogo Akiyama, which got the Reds chirping, after both teams had already been warned after a pitcher earlier in the game when Tejay Antone had one near Anthony Rizzo’s head. The benches ultimately emptied onto the field, leading to ejections of manager David Bell, Joey Votto, and Jesse Winker. Akiyama would walk after the large meeting on the field was over, but Cincinnati’s offense couldn’t come through to play add on.

In the 5th inning Aristides Aquino would draw a walk, but was stranded. The next inning saw Mike Moustakas single to lead off the inning, but he was erased on a force out, and the Reds couldn’t get anything else going. The bottom of the 7th inning began with Curt Casali walking, and Freddy Galvis came on to pinch run for the catcher. Mark Payton, who took over for Joey Votto as the DH when he was ejected, struck out for the first out of the inning. With Nick Castellanos at the plate, Craig Kimbrel threw a pitch about four feet wide of the plate for a wild pitch that moved Galvis into scoring position. The next pitch was ball four to Castellanos to put the winning run on first.

That brought The Punisher to the plate, and Aristides Aquino came through with a line drive single into shallow center field that brought in Galvis to tie the game up and move Castellanos up to second base. The first pitch to Eugenio Suárez got by catcher Willson Contreras to move the winning run to third base with one out. After the next pitch was also out of the strikezone, the Cubs chose to intentionally walk Suárez to load the bases and set up a double play and bring Mike Moustakas to the plate, but he struck out. That brought up Jose Garcia with two outs with the game potentially on the line. On the first pitch Garcia swung through strike one, but the ball got away from the catcher and Nick Castellanos raced home to score the winning run.

The Pitching

Tejay Antone got the second start of his career, and it didn’t start out as he hoped. Ian Happ hit about the shortest possible home run one could hit, but the ball landed just on top of the wall in front of the foul pole. He settled in after that for the next three innings, but the Cubs got back to hitting homers in the 4th when David Bote crushed a 2-run shot to make it a 4-3 game with the Reds still holding onto the lead.

Michael Lorenzen entered the game to start the 5th, holding onto a 4-3 lead. Nico Hoerner hit the ball to right field to lead off the inning, but Nick Castellanos couldn’t come up with it – being charged with an error and placing Hoerner at second base. After striking out Albert Almora Jr., Ian Happ doubled down the line to tie the game up. Lorenzen struck out Kyle Schwarber and then the Reds intentionally walked Anthony Rizzo to set up a match up with Willson Contreras. The move worked as he grounded out to Jose Garcia to end the threat.

When the 6th inning began the game was turned over to Tyler Thornburg. It didn’t go well. Jason Heyward singled to lead off the inning. Thornburg then walked both David Bote and Jason Kipnis to load the bases before being removed from the game in favor of Nate Jones. A sacrifice fly followed to put the Cubs up 5-4. Jones struck out Alfredo Almora Jr. for the second out of the inning. But a walk followed to load the bases once again, bringing Kyle Schwarber to the plate. Jones got him to hit one into the shift and end the inning, but not before the Cubs grabbed the lead. Joel Kuhnel pitched the 7th inning, and had to work around two singles, but kept the score at 5-4 to give the Reds offense a chance to tie it up or walk it off.

Notes worth noting

Reds call up Joel Kuhnel

Between games one and two the Reds placed Jesse Biddle on the 10-day injured list and recalled right-handed reliever Joel Kuhnel from the alternate roster at Prasco Park.

Joey Votto keep climbing the home run list

The home run hit by Joey Votto to lead off the bottom of the 1st inning of game two was his 288th of his career. That put him ahead of Tony Perez and into the 3rd spot on the all-time Reds home run list. He now only trails Frank Robinson (324) and Johnny Bench (389).

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Chicago Cubs vs Cincinnati Reds

Sunday August 30th, 1:10pm ET

Tyler Chatwood (2-2, 6.06 ERA) vs Luis Castillo (0-4, 3.62 ERA)