Cubs Recap: Dan Haren brings the thunder to Cincinnati in win


Final. 1. 61. 4. 9

Haren shuts down struggling Reds for 10th win

After a long two and a half hour rain delay, the Chicago Cubs jumped all over rookie right-hander Josh Smith for all of their four runs in the very first inning in the ballgame in the 4-1 win over the Cincinnati Reds.

Tonight’s victory gives the Cubs (92-65) a bit of a boost behind the Pittsburgh Pirates who were postponed due to the weather while the Reds (63-94) dropped their 10th loss in a row.

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Outfielder Dexter Fowler got things going with a single to center field and Kyle Schwarber followed that up with a five-pitch walk to push Fowler into scoring position.

Third baseman Kris Bryant had the opportunity to get the Cubs on the board early but struck out swinging, leaving it up to N.L. MVP candidate Anthony Rizzo.

Rizzo ended up getting hit by a pitch on the second delivery by Smith who struggled with his command early on but settled down after the first inning wrapped up.

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Infielder Tommy La Stella pushed Fowler across to score on a sacrifice fly to center field on a leaping grab by Justin Bourgeois. Bourgeois slipped on the wet grass but managed to hit the cut-off man to prevent another run from scoring.

Miguel Montero followed that up with a two-run RBI double to right fielder Jay Bruce who ended up getting charged with two errors on a ball that was hit by Javier Baez just moments later.

This gave Haren (10-9, 3.67 ERA) a four-run lead and hit the ground running as soon as he stepped foot on the mound.

The 35-year-old right-hander held Cincinnati to only three hits while striking out six batters in 7 1/3 innings of work prior to being removed from the game for rookie Carl Edwards Jr.

Edwards gave up Cincinnati’s only run of the contest, but it wasn’t earned.

Veteran southpaw Travis Wood entered the game in the ninth inning and was able to record the final two outs of the ballgame by getting Skip Schumaker to ground into a double-play.

Next: Cubs: Better slugger between Schwarber and Bryant?