A comeback win fueled by home runs by Joey Votto and Tyler Naquin as well as a go-ahead RBI hit from Eugenio Suárez was backed up by a strong start from Tyler Mahle and a good showing from the bullpen. Cincinnati jumped ahead of the Cubs in the division and now the Reds are in second place behind the Brewers.
|Chicago Cubs (42-41)
|Cincinnati Reds (42-40)||3||5||1|
|W: Hendrix (4-1) L: Alzolay (4-8) SV: Hembree (3)
|Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread|
Cincinnati wasn’t getting much through the first three innings of the game against Adbert Alzolay. But with two outs in the 4th inning, Joey Votto unloaded on a 417-foot solo homer to cut the Cubs lead to 2-1. Leading off the 5th it was Tyler Naquin’s turn to do some unloading of his own and he deposited a solo blast way up the seats in right field, 425 feet from home plate, to tie the game up at 2-2.
After a quiet 6th inning the Reds got things going in the 7th. Joey Votto drew a walk to lead things off and then moved up to third on Tyler Stephenson’s double that followed. Eugenio Suárez would single in Votto to put Cincinnati ahead 3-2. That’s where the rally ended, though, as a ground ball double play ended the remaining threat. Jesse Winker would draw a walk in the 8th, but he was stranded as the Reds clung to a 3-2 lead and headed to the top of the 9th hoping to seal the win.
It wasn’t an easy day for Tyler Mahle. IN the first inning he loaded the bases after getting the first two batters of the game out, but he struck Jason Heyward out after reaching a full count to wiggle out of the jam. It wasn’t as easy in the 2nd after Rafael Ortega doubled with one out. He would move up on a ground out and then score on a passed ball – making the run unearned. The next inning was lef off by a first pitch home run by Kris Bryant to extend the Cubs lead to 2-0. Mahle settled in from there and finished with those two runs allowed in 5.0 innings with seven strikeouts before turning the game over to the bullpen in a tie game.
Sean Doolittle came on for the 6th inning and threw 18 pitches while striking out two of the three batters he faced as he kept the game tied up. Ryan Hendrix took over in the 7th and like Doolittle he took care of business, but he needed a little help after putting runners on the corners with one out. Joey Votto to the rescue:
Sheeeeeesh ? pic.twitter.com/QjgrZGKOW2
— Bally Sports Cincinnati (@BallySportsCIN) July 3, 2021
Can you say fired up?
Ryan Hendrix returned for the start of the 8th with a newfound 3-2 lead and got Willson Contreras to ground out before the game was handed over to Josh Osich. He struck out both Jake Marisnick and Ian Happ to end the inning and kept Cincinnati on top.
Heath Hembree took the mound to begin the 9th with 8-9-1 due up for the Cubs. He got a little help from the umpire on a full count as he rung up Patrick Wisdom on strike three that was outside of the zone. Eric Sogard didn’t wait for the umpire to decide his fate and grounded a ball one back up the middle off of Hembree for an infield single. Joc Pederson didn’t let the umpire decide his fate, either, and struck out swinging for the second out. Kris Bryant came to the plate representing the Cubs final hope. Never have hope, kids, because it’ll let you down. Bryant popped up into foul territory to Joey Votto and the game ended with a 3-2 win, a series win, and the Reds climbing into second place in the National League Central division.
Notes Worth Noting
The Cubs are in third place.
Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds
Chicago Cubs vs Cincinnati Reds
Sunday July 4th, 1:10pm ET
Kyle Hendricks (10-4, 3.98 ERA) vs Wade Miley (6-4, 2.82 ERA)