The Cubs got a great pitching performance from José Quintana and a couple big home runs from Jason Heyward and Javy Báez to take the second game of the weekend against the Reds at Great American Ball Park. They were also able to get a win against Reds starter Luis Castillo, who made just one mistake.
Heyward started the scoring off in the top of the 2nd with his second bomb in as many days to make the score 1-0 Cubs. The Cubs had a golden opportunity to score in the top of the 5th after loading the bases, but they weren’t able to capitalize. Their RISP woes would not come back to bite them in this one, though.
For what seemed like an unbelievably long time, it looked like Heyward’s blast was going to stand up as the only run in this ball game. Thankfully, Báez had other ideas in the top of the 8th. Following a David Bote pinch-hit single, Kris Bryant double, and Anthony Rizzo walk to load the bases, Báez shot a low-and-away fastball just over the right field wall for a grand slam. Just like that, the Cubs were up 5-0.
After an exciting moment in the bottom of the 8th when Pedro Strop hit Yasiel Puig, the Cubs tacked on another insurance run in the 9th to make it a very comfortable 6-0. That’s the way it would finish up as Dillon Maples locked things down in the bottom of the 9th. (Box score)
Why the Cubs Won
Heyward got the Cubs the only run Quintana would need, and Báez put things out of reach with his grand slam.
No offense to Heyward here, but El Mago’s grand salami had to be the biggest moment of the game. Not to mention, it let a lot of Cubs fans breathe easier with a little cushion.
Stats That Matter
- Quintana went 6 shutout innings, giving up only 6 hits with 4 strikeouts. Boy, did the Cubs need an outing like this from the left-hander.
- Cubs pitchers combined for a shutout and walked no batters (although there were a couple exciting HBPs).
- Báez hit his 20th home run of the season and his 4 RBI gives him 56 on the year.
The Cubs have a chance for some meatloaf tomorrow after a well-played game with the huge clutch hit with RISP from Báez and a strong 6 IP from Quintana.
The Cubs finish off the three game set in Cincinnati with another afternoon game, this one a little bit earlier than usual, at 12:10pm CT. Get your brunch ready and watch Jon Lester take on Reds right-hander Anthony DeSclafani. NBC Sports Chicago will be televising the game and Pat and Ron will be on the radio dial at 670 The Score.