Jonathan India flexed his muscles, blasting two home runs to lead the Cincinnati Reds to an 8-5 win over the Chicago Cubs before 36,372 at Wrigley Field.
|Cincinnati Reds (23-29)||8||12||0|
|Chicago Cubs (22-29)
|W: Farmer (1-3) L: M. Fulmer (0-4) SV: Diaz (11)
|Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread|
Cincinnati trailed 4-1 after two innings but had their way the rest of the game. India had three hits total, five runs batted in and two runs scored. This was the third time in the past four games the Reds scored at least eight runs on double-digit hit totals. It was also the first time the Reds have strung consecutive wins together in quite awhile. Wins in the first two of the three-game series give the Reds the chance for a three-game sweep Sunday.
Cincinnati passed Chicago in the standings, moving into fourth place. First-place Milwaukee and second-place Pittsburgh both lost, leaving the Reds four games out of both first place in the National League Central and in the Wild Card race. St. Louis won in extra innings against Cleveland to maintain their percentage-point advantage over the Reds in third place.
To echo what Barry Larkin said prior to the final game of the recent St. Louis series, tomorrow’s game is very important. If your team is going to contend, settling for a series victory when you have the opportunity to sweep is not enough. As has been said many times, this division is truly wide-open. You’d have to consider St. Louis the odds-on favorite to right themselves and come out on top, but their starting pitching is not great, and the outfield we saw during this week’s series was not impressive whatsoever.
Nick Senzel put the Reds on the board with a two-out, run-scoring single in the top of the second, tying the game at 1-1.
In the third, Jonathan India’s two-out single scored T.J. Friedl, who had doubled, to bring Cincinnati within 4-2. India was thrown out trying to extend the single to a double to end the inning.
Then in the top of the fifth, the Reds scored their third, fourth and fifth two-out runs of the game. Cubs starter Jameson Taillon walked Friedl with two out, and he stole second base. Matt McLain then looped a single over first base to score Friedl to bring the visitors within 4-3. Cubs Manager David Ross then brought in reliever Michael Fulmer, and India dropped one into the basket in right field for a homer and a 5-4 Reds lead.
King of the North Side pic.twitter.com/38XpcIqTei
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) May 28, 2023
Fulmer walked two of the first three batters in the sixth and was removed in favor of righthander Jeremiah Estrada, who then allowed ANOTHER two-out run-scoring single by Curt Casali to make it 6-4 Reds.
In the seventh, Cincinnati didn’t wait for two outs to score. McLain fought off numerous Estrada pitches, then lined a hit to left field. India immediately followed with a no-doubt bomb to left to make it 8-4. Righthander Julian Merryweather entered the game and allowed a broken-bat single to Jake Fraley, who then stole second. Fraley then stole third, but slid past the bag and was tagged out.
India’s three hits led the hit parade, complemented by McLain, Friedl and Stephenson with two hits apiece. McLain raised his batting average to .333 over his first 11 games.
Brandon Williamson gave up a run in the first inning on a triple by Dansby Swanson followed by a ground-rule double by Reds Ravager Ian Happ, then three more in the second on four hits. He held Chicago scoreless over the next 2 1/3 innings, but Manager David Bell removed him after he walked Seiya Suzuki, Williamson’s fourth free pass, in the bottom of the fifth. Buck Farmer then induced a double-play grounder from Trey Mancini to end that inning and pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings.
Last 16 games for Buck Farmer this season: 1.34 ERA in 20.1 IP
Buck Farmer since he was recalled on July 9, 2022 after spending nearly 2 months at AAA: 2.84 ERA in 60.2 IP#Reds
— Nick Kirby (@Nicholaspkirby) May 28, 2023
Ian Gibaut entered in the bottom of the seventh and allowed the first two batters to reach on a single and a walk. With one out, Fraley made a diving catch of a looper to right by Happ — turning that batted ball into a sacrifice fly out instead of a base hit. A Suzuki fly-out ended the inning.
Alex Young pitched a 1-2-3 eighth. Alexis Diaz allowed two base runners in the ninth, and of course who else but Happ would be up with two out and representing the tying run. Showing his dominance, Diaz struck out Happ swinging to end the game.
Friedl turned a fly ball into a double play in the bottom of the sixth inning. With Christopher Morel on first base and one out, Patrick Wisdom hit a fly ball to center field.
This deke by TJ Friedl is *chef’s kiss* ?
?: FOX pic.twitter.com/vcGiUeLuEv
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) May 28, 2023
Friedl briefly flailed his arms in an apparent signal that he had lost the ball, but he eventually caught it. Morel had gone back to first base to tag up, and apparently, he believed that Friedl had indeed lost the ball. Morel left first base early in an apparent event to advance to third on what he thought would be a fly ball that would fall. But Morel was tagged out at second, with the umpires ruling that he had left early from first. It wasn’t clear whether Friedl actually lost the ball or not, or if he was play-acting. We’ll probably find out in the aftermath of the game.
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) May 27, 2023
Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds
Cincinnati Reds at Chicago Cubs
Sunday, May 28, 2:20 p.m. ET
Graham Ashcraft (2-3, 5.57 ERA) vs. Drew Smyly (5-1, 2.93 ERA)