The Cubs use the longball to drop the Reds
CHICAGO (AP) — Daniel Murphy homered for a second straight day and is batting .407 (48 for 118) with nine homers in 31 career regular-season games at Wrigley Field — all but three of them before he joined the Cubs in a trade this week.
Baez was 2 for 4 with a walk and three RBIs. The homer was his 28th and he leads the NL with 97 RBIs.
NL-Central leading Chicago has gone deep in 10 consecutive games, amassing a total of 17 homers during that stretch.
Curt Casali homered and had four RBIs, and Preston Tucker added a pinch-hit homer for Cincinnati, which has dropped four straight.
Jose Quintana (11-9) allowed two runs on six hits in five-plus innings — walking three and striking out two — to get his first win since Aug. 3.
Reds starter Luis Castillo (7-11) allowed five runs on five hits in 3 1/3 innings.
Ian Happ drove in the Cubs’ first run with a two-out single in the second, and Murphy followed with a two-run shot for a 3-0 lead.
After Cincinnati got a pair of runs in the top of the fourth, Schwarber’s two-run shot in the bottom of the fourth restored the three-run advantage. Baez hit a solo blast in the fifth, and Anthony Rizzo’s run-scoring single in the sixth made it 7-2.
Chicago added three unearned runs in the seventh. The Reds scored four runs in the eighth against reliever Brandon Kintzler, who like Murphy was acquired in a midseason trade with the Washington Nationals. Casali hit a three-run homer and Tucker followed with a solo blast.
The Reds activated RF Scott Schebler (sprained right shoulder) before the game and optioned OF Aristides Aquino to Triple-A Pensacola. Schebler batted leadoff and went 1 for 5.
Reds: 1B Joey Votto (lower right leg) ran sprints on the field before the game. Manager Jim Riggleman said a decision on whether Votto will be activated for the finale of the series won’t be made until Sunday morning.
Cubs: 3B Kris Bryant (left shoulder inflammation) took batting practice on the field before the game. He said he didn’t experience any pain and is “ready to go.” Bryant will face rehabbing LHP Drew Smyly in a live BP session on Sunday and then begin a minor league rehab assignment on Monday.
Reds RHP Homer Bailey (1-11, 6.21 ERA) faces RHP Kyle Hendricks (9-10, 4.04) in the finale of the four-game series on Sunday. Bailey is 0-4 with a 5.22 ERA in five starts since coming off the DL in late July, and Cincinnati is 1-16 in his 17 starts this season. Hendricks is 3-0 with a 1.83 ERA in six career starts against the Reds at Wrigley Field.