Cubs 7 Reds 4
Aristides Aquino clobbered two home runs and Tommy Pham added a solo shot, but it wasn't enough to offset two three-run homers by the Cubs, including a blast by Reds killer Ian Happ in a 7-4 Cubs win Monday night at GABP.
Started well....then: Vladimir Gutierrez looked like a different pitcher....for the first two innings. He struck out three batters in the first two innings, painting corners. He threw 30 pitches in the 3rd inning but stranded two runners with a strikeout of Jonathan Villar. But he surrendered back-to-back doubles to start the 4th inning and then a 3-run HR to Patrick Wisdom as things snowballed to 4-0 Cubs. 4 IN, 4 H, 4 R, 2 BB, 5 K...77 pitches/43 strikes. It was his first appearance since May 11.
Boom, boom: Trailing 4-0 in the 6th, Tommy Pham rocketed his 5th homer to left field....a 410 foot blast at 106.1 mph off the bat. Joey Votto was hit by a pitch and Aristides Aquino followed with a 2-run blast of a 78 mph knuckle curve off the Laura's Lean fencing in left field......429 feet at 106.7 off the bat. ...it was 4-3.
Give it up: After the Reds cut the deficit to 4-3 in the top bottom of the 6th inning, the Cubs answered right back in the top of the 7th inning. Jared Solomon gave up a hit and a walk and was replaced by Luis Cessa. Ian Happ greeted Cessa with a 3-run homer to put the Cubs lead back to 7-3. It was his 15th career HR at GABP in 71 games.
New and improved? Aquino's second blast was 439 feet at 110.1 mph off an 85 mph slider and dented the facade of the second deck at GAPB. DFA'd after a 2 for 41 start to the season, Aquino has four hits in his last two games since his promotion. Prior to tonight's 2-HR game for Aquino he'd had one multiple HR game....the 3 HR game vs Cubs in August of 2019.
Reds Killer: Happ, the UC product, entered with 70 career games vs Reds: 22 HR and 48 RBI in 211 AB with .299-.407-.678-1.085.
Career at GABP entering Monday: .343-.447-.784-.1.231 with 13 HR in 34 games. His RBI double produced the first run of the game in the 4th inning....and he was robbed of an extra bases on a Nick Senzel catch.
Ducks stranded on the pond: The Reds loaded the bases with 2-outs in the 1st inning with a single by Brandon Drury and then back-to-back walks to Votto and Tyler Stephenson. But Aquino struck out on the three straight knuckle curves by Smyly.
Glove it! Senzel made a sweet running/leaping catch up against the CF wall to take extra bases away from Ian Happ in the second inning.
Put a star by it: Aquino fired a seed to gun down Rafael Ortega attempting to stretch a single into a double.
Covering outs: Jeff Hoffman tossed two scoreless innings, allowing a hit, walking 2 and striking out 4. Joel Kuhnel and Hunter Strickland pitched scoreless innings.
Votto: 0-2, BB, R, HBP