First baseman Anthony Rizzo hit a two-run home run, and shortstop
Starlin Castro went 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles and an RBI,
lifting the Cubs to a 9-4 victory over the Cincinnati Reds at Great
American Ball Park.
"We've had a tough time scoring runs in bunches," Renteria said.
"Tonight was an example of what our club can do at times. I can't
tip my hat enough to the relievers for helping us through. We have
some really exciting arms."
Catcher Welington Castillo also had three hits, including a double,
for Chicago (9-17), which earned a split in what became a brief
two-game series following Monday's rainout.
Cubs starter Edwin Jackson (2-2) allowed four earned runs and five
hits in 5 2/3 innings and the bullpen backed him up with 3 1/3
scoreless innings to seal the win.
"Baseball's a crazy game," Jackson said. "Tonight I gave up three
runs but the team backed me with runs and I get a win. Other nights
it might be different. I was aggressive tonight, did a better job
keeping the ball down. We have confidence in those guys (in the
bullpen). They did a helluva job."
Right-handers Brian Schlitter, Neil Ramirez and Hector Rondon, and
left-hander Wesley Wright combined to allow just two hits with no
walks and four strikeouts.
"It's going to create a buzz around our division and the league that
the Cubs have some power arms, and if we get the lead we're capable
of shutting it down," Rizzo said.
Catcher Brayan Pena hit his first home run for Cincinnati (12-15) on
The Cubs were clinging to a 5-4 lead in the ninth when they added
four insurance runs off left-hander Sean Marshall, two on right
fielder Nate Schierholtz's two-run single.
Marshall allowed four runs (two earned) and four hits in just
two-thirds of an inning.
Cincinnati's starting pitcher, lefty Tony Cingrani, allowed three
earned runs and a career-high six hits in four innings. He walked
two and fanned two.
"Cingrani wasn't real sharp," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "His
velocity started to back down that last inning. I didn't think we
should send him back out there (for the fifth) and expect different
Cingrani was replaced by right-hander Nick Christiani, who promptly
allowed a double by left fielder Junior Lake then walked two to load
the bases with no outs. Chicago scored a pair of runs on a fielder's
choice and sacrifice fly to go ahead 5-3.
Christiani (0-1) allowed two runs and walked three in two innings to
earn his first loss.
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"We always felt like we were in the game," Reds third baseman Todd
Frazier said. "We just couldn't catch them."
The Cubs pounded Cingrani in the first inning. Immediately after
Lake was retired on a fly ball to the warning track, Rizzo crushed a
two-run home run 426 feet to left-center field, putting Chicago
Cincinnati tied the score 2-2 on third baseman Todd Frazier's
two-out, two-run double in the bottom of the first. Right fielder
Jay Bruce slid underneath Castillo's tag for the tying run. Renteria
considered challenging the call but didn't.
Pena's solo homer put the Reds ahead 3-2 leading off the second. But
Castro's second hit, an RBI single in the third, knotted the score
Cingrani was lifted after 79 pitches through four innings. Despite a
history of back issues and a noticeable drop in velocity on
Wednesday, Cingrani insisted he was fine physically.
"I'm just a little fatigued. I was laboring," Cingrani said. "I
don't know what it is about the first inning. I've just got to
pitch. My back is fine. I'll make some minor adjustments and see how
NOTES: Cingrani matched Yankees RHP Bill Burbach's major league mark
for allowing six hits or fewer in 24 straight starts to begin his
career. ... Reds LHP Aroldis Chapman is tentatively scheduled to
start Thursday night and pitch one inning for Class A Dayton. It
will be Chapman's first game action since being struck on the
forehead with a line drive in a spring training game on March 19.
... Cubs SS Starlin Castro extended his hitting streak to five games
with a first-inning double. ... Reds C Brayan Pena's second-inning
homer was his first since Aug. 11, 2013, at Yankee Stadium while
with the Tigers. It was his third National League homer, first since
2007 while a member of the Braves. ... Cincinnati hosts first-place
Milwaukee, owners of baseball's best record, in a four-game series
beginning Thursday night at Great American Ball Park. Following an
off-day Thursday, the Cubs host the rival St. Louis Cardinals in a
three-game set at Wrigley Field.
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