Cubs hit 3 HRs, break loose to beat Reds 8-4
CHICAGO (AP) — Tony Cingrani’s lack of control exposed a rusty Reds bullpen.
Darwin Barney and Welington Castillo hit two-run homers and Mike Olt added a solo shot as the Chicago Cubs broke out of a weeklong offensive funk and beat Cincinnati 8-4 Saturday.
The Cubs scored a run in the first three innings off Cingrani.
"It wasn’t that he was hit hard. He gave up the home run to Olt and a couple of hard-hit balls, base hits," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "But he was just kind of around the zone but not in it enough, he didn’t have a lot of reliable secondary stuff to get over."
"But more than anything he just wasn’t pounding the zone with his fastball," he said.
Since scoring four times last Sunday in St. Louis, the Cubs had managed just one run before beating the Reds. Cincinnati had won 16 of the last 17 at Wrigley Field.
The Cubs ended a five-game losing game streak.
Emilio Bonifacio had three hits and scored a pair of runs for the Cubs. Junior Lake, Starlin Castro and Justin Ruggiano each drove in a run.
Edwin Jackson (1-1) allowed two runs and eight hits in 5 2-3 innings.
Cingrani (1-2) gave up three runs in five innings.
Jay Bruce went 3 for 3 with a walk for the Reds, who weren’t able to extend its three-game winning streak.
Bonifacio led off the bottom of the first with a single, went to second on a walk to Lake and came home on a single by Ruggiano.
Olt stretched the lead to 2-0 when he led off the second with his third homer of the season.
"I’ve been battling myself the last couple of starts and I’m just trying to find that command and my consistent mechanics. It just hasn’t been working that well the last couple of starts," Cingrani said.
Said Price: "He just wasn’t the same guy that we’ve seen most of time in Cincinnati. He’s been a little sporadic with his location."
Reds reliever Logan Ondrusek was hit hard in his first appearance since April 8. He allowed three runs on four hits, including a two-run shot to Barney in the sixth inning.
"I don’t think he would give you an excuse for anything. We’re not about excuses, it’s been about 10 days since he last pitched in a game. He’s thrown in the bullpen a lot and had a chance to stay sharp that way, but there is nothing like competition," Price said.
Bonifacio hit a leadoff single in the third, stole second and eventually scored on a grounder by Castro.
Jackson cruised along until the sixth, when Devin Mesoraco doubled home Bruce. Zack Cozart made it 3-2 with an RBI grounder.
Lake added an RBI single later in the inning after Barney’s home run in the sixth. An error by Olt at first base on a routine grounder helped the Reds score twice in the seventh. Castillo homered in the bottom half.
NOTES: Reds 2B Brandon Phillips was back in the lineup after leaving Friday’s game in the third inning because of back spasms. "As far as I know he didn’t have any lower back issues until he took that swing off (Jeff) Samardzija, so my feeling is once he gets past that he won’t have to do anything to maintain it," Price said. … Reds OF Ryan Ludwick sat out Saturday after fouling a ball off his left foot during Friday’s game and sustaining a bruised toe. X-rays were negative, but Price is not certain when Ludwick will be able to play. … Reds RHP Homer Bailey (0-1) faces RHP Carlos Villanueva (1-3) in the series finale.