The Chicago Cubs got a big game from Ben Zobrist, who homered twice and doubled in the 7-3 win over the Reds.
The Chicago Cubs (102-57) played their final Friday night game of the regular season and won 7-3 over the Reds. Ben Zobrist hit two home runs and drove in three runs. Jake Buchanan earned the win in his first start with Chicago since being called up from Iowa on September 1st.
The Cubs’ bats were slow to warm up but they did and broke open a 3-1 game by scoring four runs in the top of the eight to secure the win. It was a tale of first place team, the Cubs, playing the last place team, the Reds, in a season-ending series.
The game did not mean much in the standings, but it was important for the Cubs to play well in the last three games.
Buchanan pitched five strong innings and only gave up one hit. The Bull pen gave up the three runs, the final two coming on a 9th inning home run by Joey Votto off Carl Edwards, Jr. Buchanan, a right-hander obtained from the Houston Astros, did his job in giving the Cubs strong innings and allowed the team to eventually wear down the Red pitching staff.
Ben Zobrist hit his 16th home run of the year in the top of the fifth inning off of Josh Smith. In the bottom of the fifth inning, Buchanan got Tony Renda to hit into an inning double play.
In the Cubs half of the sixth, Kris Bryant drove in a run with the bases loaded on a fielder’s choice. The Cubs could have scored more but only came way with one run. The Reds scored a run in their half of the 6th inning on an infield ground out.
In the Cubs seventh, Zobrist hit a double and was driven in by Addison Russell‘s extra-base hit (double) to put the Cubs up 3-1. Russell now has 95 runs batted in for the year.
The top of the eighth inning is when Chicago broke this game open. Dexter Fowler walked. Bryant singled and moved Fowler to second base. Both runners moved up a base on Tucker Barnhart‘s passed ball. Anthony Rizzo then singled both runners home with a big hit. Now, the Cubs had a 5-1 lead and a little more breathing room.
Zobrist hit his 17th home run of the season off Abel De Los Santos to plate Rizzo. Now, the Cubbies had a 7-1 lead heading into the bottom of the eighth inning. The Reds did not score a run and in the last of ninth, Joey Votto hit his 29th home run of the year, a two-run blast off of Carl Edwards, Jr. who closed out the inning.
The Cubs will take this win and prepare for the playoffs in the final two regular season games. The Cubs playoff quest begins next week at Wrigley Field.