Montero, Fowler power Cubs past Reds
CHICAGO (AP) The Chicago Cubs used their power to survive a rough night from their starting pitcher.
Miguel Montero and Dexter Fowler each homered, and the Chicago Cubs ended the banged-up Cincinnati Reds' four-game winning streak with a 6-3 victory Thursday night.
That offensive display was needed to pick up Tsuyoshi Wada. Coming off his worst start with the Cubs, when he allowed five runs in 3 2-3 innings on June 5 in Washington, Wada wasn't much better Thursday. He gave up three runs and four hits in three-plus innings before being replaced by Travis Wood (3-2) following Chris Dominguez's home run to begin the fourth.
''He just needs to become more assertive like he was earlier,'' Cubs manager Joe Maddon said.
Maddon said Wada needs to simplify during his outings. The Cubs manager also asserted he's not thinking about pulling Wada from the rotation.
When asked if he was concerned about losing his spot, Wada said through a translator it's not his decision but ''if you look at this result it could be happening.''
With the rebuilt right-field bleachers filled with fans for the first time this season, the Cubs won for the fourth time in five games.
Montero's three-run homer in the first off Michael Lorenzen (1-2) gave Chicago an early lead, and Fowler's third-inning drive put the Cubs in front 4-2. Kris Bryant added an RBI double in the fifth for the Cubs, who got a strong night from their bullpen.
''We've been so much better offensively here the last few weeks, I didn't think that was a hole we couldn't get out of,'' Reds manager Bryan Price said.
Wood pitched 2 1-3 innings and was one of five Chicago relievers that combined to throw six scoreless innings and in one stretch retire 14 consecutive batters. Hector Rondon, whose status as Chicago's closer has come into doubt, saved his 11th game in 14 attempts.
Dominguez was recalled earlier Thursday from Triple-A Louisville to help the increasingly injured Reds.
Already with a rash of injuries, the Reds were playing their first game without Zack Cozart after the shortstop was ruled out for the season with a torn tendon and two torn ligaments. He was hurt trying to beat out a grounder Wednesday against Philadelphia.
Along with Cozart, the Reds were missing Marlon Byrd (right wrist), Billy Hamilton (left wrist), Devin Mesoraco (hip), and Brandon Phillips (left groin).
To replace Cozart, Eugenio Suarez was recalled from Louisville and went 1 for 3.
Lorenzen went 4 1-3 innings, allowing five hits, six runs - five earned - while walking three and striking out six. He also had a two-run triple in the second.
''One thing I was happy about is I didn't step off the gas,'' Lorenzen said.
The Cubs, meanwhile, would like to see Wada get more aggressive.
''Trusting your stuff, don't try to fool everybody, believe what you're doing,'' Maddon said, ''and I think he'll be much better.''
Reds: Price said Phillips is day to day, and that he anticipated seeing Hamilton in the lineup Friday if his workouts went well Thursday. ... Mesoraco played left field but departed from Wednesday's game early during his rehab assignment at Triple-A Louisville due to soreness. Price said the team might have to reevaluate whether he can physically play the outfield.
Cubs: Maddon said he hasn't heard anything new on RHP Neil Ramirez (right shoulder).
Reds RHP Johnny Cueto (4-4, 2.64 ERA) faces Chicago RHP Jason Hammel (5-2, 2.76). Entering Thursday, Hammel (0.893) and Cueto (0.945) were the top two in the NL in walks and hits per innings pitched.
Maddon said Rafael Soriano could be coming in a month. ''You'd like to think at least post-All-Star break would be probably a reasonable timeframe,'' he said. Maddon said Soriano, who was signed Tuesday to a minor league deal, is throwing in the Dominican Republic and is waiting for his immigration paperwork to go through before coming to the United States.