Cubs win slugfest with Reds on windy day at Wrigley

by - Senior Writer -
In a game that featured 25 total hits, including six home runs, the Cubs were thrilled to come away with a win. (Credit: Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports)
In a game that featured 25 total hits, including six home runs, the Cubs were thrilled to come away with a win. (Credit: Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports)

CHICAGO, Ill. — With the wind blowing out at Wrigley Field, six combined home runs were hit in an exciting matchup between the Chicago Cubs (30-20) and the Cincinnati Reds (23-28) on Saturday afternoon. The Cubs' recent theme of benefiting from clutch pinch hitting continued, with pinch hitter David Bote smacking an RBI double in the gap between left and center in the bottom of the eighth to drive home what turned out to be the winning run. Although he gave up six runs on 12 hits and two walks, Cubs starter Yu Darvish manufactured one of the best outings of his Cubs career, and former Cubs starter Tyler Chatwood came out the bullpen for Chicago and recorded his first save as a member of the North Siders. Winning 8-6, the Cubs evened the series at one victory apiece ahead of tomorrow's rubber match.

Gusts of close to 15 miles per hour blew directly out of the Friendly Confines throughout the game, making for some interesting plays in the outfield and turning several towering shots that would normally be routine flyouts into home runs. The first homer of the day came on a 2-run dinger by Reds catcher Tucker Barnhart in the top of the second that put the Reds up 2-0. Thereafter, Cubs center fielder Albert Almora Jr. cut his team's deficit in half with a solo shot in the bottom of the second that sailed 415 feet to right.

The Cubs used a 4-run fourth inning to go up 5-2 and gain control of the contest. For the second time this season, Cubs second baseman Addison Russell went yard, as he lined a 2-run blast to right-center that plated catcher Victor Caratini. Following a couple of singles, Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo just missed tabbing a 3-run homer with a lofty fly ball that fell directly into the face of the wall in right-center for a 2-run double. Reds starter Tyler Mahle gave up six runs on nine hits and one walk in his five innings of work.

Cincinnati got a couple of runs back in the top of the fifth. Darvish gave up a leadoff single to Joey Votto before throwing a wild pitch that enabled Votto to reach second. Eugenio Suarez, who hit the winning home run for the Reds on Friday, then came through with an RBI single, and, later in the inning, Yasiel Puig clobbered a 416-foot home run to left. Interestingly, Puig's bomb was the only one of the six homers tallied in the game that did not travel to the opposite field.

Heyward answered the Puig blast with a solo shot of his own to lead off the bottom of the fifth. The ball landed in the basket at the top of the wall in left-center to put the Cubs ahead 6-4. The Reds tacked on another run via a 2-out RBI single by Nick Senzel in the sixth. Darvish proceeded to pitch until he was pulled early on in the eighth frame, with the seven innings pitched marking Darvish's longest outing as a Cub. A leadoff home run by Derek Dietrich of the Reds at the start of the eighth led to Darvish being yanked soon afterward.

With the game tied at 6-6, a wily bunt single by Russell with a man on first in the bottom of the eighth sparked a Cubs rally off Reds reliever Jared Hughes. The perfectly executed bunt down the third-base line was followed by the aforementioned RBI double off the bat of Bote that scored Almora. Following a pitching change, Cubs left fielder Schwarber ushered Russell in to score with a sacrifice fly for an insurance run that put the Cubs ahead 8-6.

Chatwood entered prior to the start of the ninth, and, after giving up back-to-back singles in the first two plate appearances, he forced Jesse Winker to ground into his second double play of the afternoon. After that, Puig hit a game-ending flyout that brought the thrilling National League Central duel to a close. With 11 hits, including three long balls, the Cubs used a successful day at the dish to earn a hard-fought 8-6 triumph.

Cincinnati Reds at Chicago Cubs
May 25, 2019 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Cincinnati (23-28) 0 2 0 0 2 1 0 1 0 6 14 0
Chicago (30-20) 0 1 0 4 1 0 0 2 - 8 11 0
W: Dillon Maples (1-0) L: Jared Hughes (2-2) S: Tyler Chatwood (1)

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