CINCINNATI (AP) Todd Frazier got over his Home Run Derby hangover with the most appropriate type of hit.
The All-Star connected for the first time since he won the slugging contest, and Jay Bruce hit a key two-run shot in the sixth inning on Monday night, powering the Cincinnati Reds to a 5-4 victory over the Chicago Cubs.
Frazier won the derby at Great American Ball Park last Monday night, hitting the clinching homer with his final swing. Those 15 minutes of aiming for the seats tired him out – he was 0 for 3 in the All-Star Game and hitless in 10 at-bats during a series against Cleveland over the weekend.
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Manager Bryan Price left him out of the starting lineup on Sunday, which helped him recuperate.
”It’s one of those things where it was a long week, I didn’t get much sleep,” Frazier said. ”I wasn’t feeling right. The day off helped me a lot.
”I was just out of my element a little bit. I didn’t change nothing; I was just swinging at bad pitches. But it’s a new week.”
Frazier’s solo shot off left-hander Clayton Richard was his first homer since June 28th and his first at Great American since June 21. He has hit 16 of his 26 homers at home.
The Reds hit three homers in all, including Marlon Byrd’s solo shot, and beat the Cubs at Great American for the first time this season. Bruce’s drive against Justin Grimm (1-3) – his second in the last four games – put Cincinnati up 5-4 with two outs in the sixth.
”He made a nice swing on a high pitch,” Price said. ”He’s getting to his power and he’s doing some damage.”
Ryan Mattheus (1-1) pitched a hitless inning in relief of Michael Lorenzen. J.J. Hoover escaped a threat in the eighth.
Aroldis Chapman pitched the ninth – a day after he threw a career-high 44 pitches – and retired the side on 13 pitches for his 19th save in 20 chances, repeatedly topping 100 mph on the ballpark’s radar gun.
”He’s from another planet,” Bruce said. ”It looked like honestly he didn’t miss a beat.”
The Cubs are 7-3 against Cincinnati this season, including 2-1 at Great American. They haven’t won their season series since 2009.
The Cubs’ Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo also participated in the All-Star derby and helped them pull ahead 4-3. Rizzo had a sacrifice fly, and Bryant doubled home a run. Jorge Soler’s two-run double put Chicago ahead in the fifth.
The teams firmed up their pitching plans for Wednesday’s day-night doubleheader, which makes up a game rained out in April. The Cubs will go with Kyle Hendricks and Dallas Beeler. The Reds will start Mike Leake and Tony Cingrani.
Brandon Phillips went behind second base to get Jorge Soler’s grounder in the seventh, and then flipped behind his back for a barehanded forceout by shortstop Eugenio Suarez at second, ending a Cubs threat.
Cubs catcher Kyle Schwarber batted second and went 1 for 4 with a single. The rookie is from nearby Middletown, Ohio, and played at Great American for the first time eight days earlier, winning the MVP award in the All-Star Futures Game.
Cubs: LHP Zac Rosscup flew to Double-A Tennessee on Monday to continue his rehab stint at a higher level. Rosscup, on the 15-day DL since June 17, had been pitching with the rookie team in Mesa, Ariz.
Reds: LHP Manny Parra went on the 15-day DL with a strained elbow. … Mattheus twisted his left knee while fielding Starlin Castro’s grounder in the 6th but stayed in the game after a few practice throws.
Cubs: Jason Hammel (5-4) returns from a hamstring problem. He pitched only one inning on July 8 against the Cardinals before leaving with a tight left hamstring.
Reds: Raisel Iglesias (2-5) makes his second start since returning from a strained left oblique. He gave up five runs and eight hits in only 4 1/3 innings of a 14-3 loss at Miami on July 11.
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