Luis Valbuena hit a two-run triple on a line drive to right field for the Chicago Cubs to take their first and only lead of the game in a 6-4 win over the Reds to snap their six-game losing streak and avoid the sweep Thursday afternoon.
The Cubs (39-52) trailed early after Kyle Hendricks walked the first two batters and gave up three straight hits in his major league debut for the Reds (49-43) to score three runs in the first inning.
Arismendy Alcantara hit a sacrifice fly to center for his first career RBI to score Hendricks for his first career run to cut the deficit to 3-1 in the top of the third. Alcantara went 0-for-4 in his major league debut Wednesday night, but rebounded falling a home run shy of the cycle in a three RBI game.
Ryan Ludwick hit a towering solo home run to left to get a run back and a 4-1 lead in the bottom of the inning.
Hendricks would shut down the Reds offense, retiring eight in a row at one point while Ludwick was the only one to hit off him. Alcantara hit his first major league hit with a two-run double in the fifth off Homer Bailey to make it a one-run game, 4-3.
Starlin Castro singled on a sharp line drive to center to score Alcantara in the eighth to send the game to extra innings.
Bailey would leave the game with an apparent lower-body injury in the sixth after he gave up three earned runs on two hits, striking out three and walking two over five innings. Hoover (1-6) took the loss for the Reds, giving up two runs in the 12th and striking out two over the final two innings.
Hendricks allowed four runs on five hits, striking out seven and walking three over six innings in his debut. The Cubs bullpen: James Russell, Pedro Strop, Neil Ramirez, and Hector Rondon each pitched a scoreless inning in relief and Blake Parker (1-0) picked up his first win after striking out three over two innings.
The Cubs will travel back to Chicago to face the Atlanta Braves (49-42) in a three-game series with Jake Arrieta (5-1) on the mound and will be opposed by Alex Wood (6-7) in the series opener on Friday afternoon at 3:05 p.m. CT on CSN.