Cubs outfielder Ian Happ launched a three-run homer in the seventh inning to wipe out a 2-0 deficit and lead host Chicago to a 3-2 win over the Cincinnati Reds on Friday night.
It was the 15th home run of the season for Happ, who starred at the University of Cincinnati before the Cubs drafted him in 2015. The seventh-inning blast came off Reds reliever David Hernandez (5-1), who gave up the three runs in one-third of an inning after right-hander Matt Harvey shut out the Cubs for six innings.
Chicago ran its record to 86-61 this season. The Cubs began the night with a 1 1/2-game lead over the Milwaukee Brewers in the National League Central. The last-place Reds are 63-85.
The comeback gave Cubs right-hander Dillon Maples (1-0) his first major league win. He entered in the top of the seventh in relief of Cubs lefty starter Cole Hamels and retired the only batter he faced.
Hamels, a longtime nemesis of the Reds, began the day with a career record of 11-1 against them with a 1.86 ERA in 16 starts. He allowed eight hits and two walks in 6 2/3 innings. He struck out seven.
Despite the Reds’ traffic on the bases, their only two runs came on back-to-back home runs by Jose Peraza and Joey Votto to begin the fourth inning. It was the 12th homer of the season for each of them.
Harvey allowed only four hits and a walk with six strikeouts in throwing 96 pitches. He left for a pinch hitter in the seventh.
With closer Pedro Strop out for at least the remainder of the regular season with a hamstring injury, Cubs left-hander Jorge De La Rosa pitched the ninth inning. In his 426th career game, he recorded his first major league save, despite allowing a one-out double and a two-out walk.
Ben Zobrist had three hits, including a double, as the Cubs finished with seven hits overall.
Votto and Curt Casali each had two of the Reds’ nine hits. Peraza’s home run extended his hitting streak to nine games, and he is hitting .432 during that span. Billy Hamilton reached base three times with a hit and two walks.
—Field Level Media