Drew Sutton has had a busy year. He has been traded from the Houston Astros to the Cincinnati Reds, done the shuttle between the minors and majors and battled mononucleosis and dehydration.
He added something else his to his resume Saturday – a go-ahead pinch-hit double in the ninth to lift the Reds to a 7-5 victory over the Chicago Cubs after Cincinnati had squandered a five-run lead.
“That was pretty neat,” Sutton said. “I don’t really know what to say about it. Coming off the bench is not something you get to work a whole lot on in the minors, so it’s been a little bit of a challenge doing it up here.”
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Sutton’s two-out liner into the right field corner came after Cubs closer Carlos Marmol (2-3) walked two straight batters.
“You’re facing guys like Marmol and just trying to get something straight and over the plate to hit is a challenge enough,” Sutton added. “Just being able to come up with a hit like that and drive in a couple of runs in that situation, that was awesome.”
Marmol’s season-long control problems continued. He took over the closer’s role Aug. 18 and had converted his last nine save chances. But pitching Saturday in a non-save situation, he issued his 60th and 61st walks in 67 2-3 innings.
“I don’t know,” Marmol said of his control issues, insisting that he didn’t get a call from the umpire on his first walk to Jonny Gomes.
“You got to try to get three outs no matter what the situation is. …The first batter I walked it was right down the middle. I see it. … I had a bad day today.”
Arthur Rhodes (1-1) pitched a scoreless eighth inning for the win. Francisco Cordero worked the ninth for his 34th save in 37 chances.
The Cubs made three infield errors in the third inning, helping the Reds score twice en route to a 5-0 lead after four innings.
“They helped us early. It was a sloppy game early and that’s uncharacteristic of the Cubs because usually their defense, especially their infield defense, is pretty good,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said.
“But, we’ll take it big time and we still left some runners out there.”
Chicago scored three in the sixth off starter Johnny Cueto and tied the game in the seventh on Geovany Soto‘s two-out, two-run, bases-loaded double off Nick Masset. Chicago’s Aramis Ramirez tried to score from first on Soto’s drive to the center field wall but was thrown out at the plate on a relay from shortstop Paul Janish.
Cueto gave up four hits and three runs in 5 1-3 innings. He was driven out in the sixth after an RBI single by Ramirez and a run-scoring double by Soto. Bobby Scales had a sacrifice fly off reliever Daniel Ray Herrera.
Chicago first baseman Derrek Lee, third baseman Ramirez and shortstop Ryan Theriot all made errors in the third.
Corky Miller hit a leadoff single before Lee fumbled Cueto’s bunt for an error, putting runners at first and second.
When Drew Stubbs hit a grounder to Ramirez, he attempted to start a double play but his throw to second hit Miller in the helmet for another error. The ball ricocheted into the stands, and umpire Joe West awarded home to Miller, giving the Reds a 1-0 lead and putting runners at second and third.
“We didn’t play very well early in the game. A couple of freak plays. The ball that hit the catcher in the helmet and bounced out of the ball park,” Cubs manager Lou Piniella said.
“I’ve never seen that one before.”
Cueto was thrown out at the plate on a grounder to Theriot. But moments later, Theriot dropped Lee’s throw for Chicago’s third error of the inning, loading the bases. Brandon Phillips then delivered an RBI single.
The Reds added three more runs in the fourth. Adam Rosales singled, Cueto bunted him to second, Stubbs beat out a single to deep short and Darnell McDonald hit an RBI single for a 3-0 lead. Joey Votto followed with another run-scoring single off Lee’s glove at first and Scott Rolen drew a bases-loaded walk to make it 5-0 and finish starter Randy Wells.
Wells gave up six hits and five runs – three earned – in 3 2-3 innings.
It was the first time the Cubs made three errors in one inning since Aug. 18, 2006, against St. Louis. … Rhodes appeared in his 777th career game, tying him with Gaylord Perry for 46th on baseball’s career list.