Chicago Cubs fight back late, defeat Reds 7-3 in extras


3. 61. 7. 9. Final

Cubs score four in the 11th in win vs Reds

With the bases loaded and only one out, veteran catcher David Ross drove in two runs on a double to deep right center field as the Chicago Cubs would defeat the Cincinnati Reds in the 11th inning, 7-3.

Infielder Jonathan Herrera – who hasn’t been performing all that well at the plate – broke a 3-3 tie prior to Ross’s at-bat by driving a pitch to right field, allowing Anthony Rizzo to come around to score, making it a 4-3 ballgame in favor of the Cubs.

More from Chicago Cubs News

Rizzo tied things up at two apiece on a two-run shot to deep right-center field off Mike Leake, shortly after outfielder Dexter Fowler led off the top of the fourth inning with a double. It was Chicago’s first hit of the game after Leake ran through their lineup within the first three innings of Friday evening’s contest.

Jon Lester (0-2, 6.23 ERA) had himself a solid outing in his first start on the road for the Cubs. In six innings of work, Lester gave up three earned runs on five hits with one walk and 10 strikeouts before skipper Joe Maddon called upon Phil Coke to take over on the mound.

Speedy outfielder Billy Hamilton had multiple stolen bases in this game while scoring the first run on a fielder’s choice from Joey Votto who grounded out to shortstop Starlin Castro in the bottom of the first inning, giving the Reds a 1-0 lead. Hamilton second base twice and eventually capitalized on Lester’s Achilles heel by swiping third base.

He would score shortly after stealing his 13th base of the season on another fielder’s choice with Brandon Phillips at the plate, making it a 2-0 game early on.

Seasoned veteran and former Cub, Marlon Byrd would lead off the bottom of the fourth inning with his second double of the season – only to jog towards home plate on a sacrifice fly courtesy of Zack Cozart to give his team a 3-2 lead.

After two innings of silence from both lineups, the Cubs would tie things up again on another home run by Chris Coghlan – a solo bomb to left field, knotting things up at three apiece to lead off the seventh inning. It was the second home run of the day given up by Leake (0-1, 3.90 ERA) – who despite giving up those long balls – gave up three earned runs on four hits with one walk and nine strikeouts in seven innings.

Chicago later turned to Jason Motte in the bottom of the 10th inning after they were unable to take the lead in the ninth as Rizzo and Kris Bryant reached base safely with no outs against Aroldis Chapman. Motte would escape a bases-loaded jam when Jay Bruce popped out to third baseman Herrera for the third out.

Travis Wood was also credited with a pinch-hit RBI as Castro would come across to score, making it 7-3 Chicago. Cincinnati would be unable to answer as Hector Rondon retired the side in order in the bottom half of the 11th.

What Stood Out:

After dropping the last two games of that four-game set against the Pittsburgh Pirates, Chicago’s lineup pulled through with clutch at-bats late – which is exactly what this team needs. Not only did their bats come alive late in the game, but their bullpen did a great job holding Cincinnati from walking away with a walk-off win.

As a unit, Chicago’s bullpen allowed only three hits and three walks in five innings between Coke, Gonzalez Germen, Zac Rosscup, Motte and Rondon after Lester exited the game. They all combined for 16 strikeouts compared to Cincinnati’s 14 and currently sit in second place behind the St. Louis Cardinals in the N.L. Central.

What’s Next: 

Both teams will continue this weekend series in an afternoon contest which will feature ace Jake Arrieta taking on a man who dominated the Cubs in his last outing, Anthony DeSclafani.

Arrieta (2-1, 1.74 ERA) is continuing where he left off last season as he’s allowed only four earned runs on 14 with a 19/4 K/BB ratio. His last gem came against the Pirates where he gave up only one earned run on four hits with seven strikeouts in seven innings. This will be his first match-up against the Reds in 2015.

DeSclafani (2-0, 0.86 ERA) picked apart the Milwaukee Brewers in his previous outing – holding them to just two hits with five strikeouts and one walk in eight scoreless innings.

This is definitely the key match-up of this series. First pitch is scheduled for 12:10 pm central time and will be aired live on both ABC7 and WBBM 780.