Aristides Aquino did his part, hitting two home runs on the night for the Cincinnati Reds, but it wasn’t enough as the Chicago Cubs and Ian Happ put up seven runs in a 7-4 win over their National League Central foes to take game one of the series.
|Chicago Cubs (17-24)||7||8||1|
|Cincinnati Reds (12-29)||4||5||0|
|W: Smyly (2-5) L: Gutierrez (0-6) SV: Robertson (6)
|Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread|
Cincinnati’s offense was stymied for the first five innings of the game, managing just two hits off of Drew Smyly. But in the 6th inning they finally broke through when Tommy Pham hit a 410-foot homer into the seats in left field to cut into the Cubs lead and make it 4-1. Joey Votto was hit by a pitch to follow. After Tyler Stephenson struck out, Aristides Aquino came to the plate. He battled Smyly, working a full count before the 6th pitch of the at-bat, a 78 MPH curveball caught too much of the plate and The Punisher hit it 429 feet and over the bullpen in center to bring the Reds within a run.
Two innings later the Reds were back down four runs once again, and it was Aristides Aquino again who helped get things going. Chris Martin tried to get a slider by him and he failed miserably as Aquino hit it 439 feet off of the ribbon board below the bleachers in left-center to cut into the Cubs lead, making it a 7-4 game. That was all that Cincinnati would get on the night as they fell to 12-29 on the year.
After cruising through the first three innings without allowing a hit, Vladimir Gutierrez ran into trouble when Seiya Suzuki and Ian Happ led off the 4th inning with back-to-back doubles as Chicago grabbed a 1-0 lead. After getting the next two batters out Alfonso Rivas had an infield single to put runners on the corners. After a mound visit from Derek Johnson the next pitch was a dead-red middle of the plate 92 MPH fastball that went 393 feet and landed in the stands to make it 4-0 Cubs.
Jeff Hoffman took over for Cincinnati in the 5th inning and he tossed two shutout frames as the Reds offense started to chip away at the Cubs lead. When Jared Solomon began the top of the 7th, Cincinnati had made it a 4-3 ballgame. He would give up a single to Christopher Morel and a 2-out walk to Seiya Suzuki, leading to a pitching change that brought Luis Cessa into the game. His first pitch to Ian Happ landed 13 rows up the moon deck and the three runs the offense had scored in the 6th were essentially erased as the Cubs got them back on the Happ homer.
Hunter Strickland and Joel Kuhnel covered the 8th and 9th innings with two strikeouts each as they held the Cubs scoreless, giving Cincinnati one final shot.
Key Moment of the Game
Ian Happ’s 3-run home run in the top of the 7th inning that turned a 1-run game into a 4-run game.
Notes Worth Noting
Jim Day noted during the Bally Sports Ohio broadcast that Jonathan India indicated he was hoping to begin a rehab assignment with the Triple-A Louisville Bats on Tuesday, but that nothing was official.
Aristides Aquino went 2-41 in April before he was designated for assignment. He’s had two hits in each of the last two games.
Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds
Chicago Cubs vs Cincinnati Reds
Tuesday May 24th, 6:40pm ET
Marcus Stroman (1-4, 4.88 ERA) vs Tyler Mahle (2-4, 5.23 ERA)