EditorsNote: Tweaked 7th graf, minor edits
Nick Castellanos scored the winning run on a wild pitch, as the Cincinnati Reds scored twice in the bottom of the seventh for a 6-5 walk-off victory to earn a doubleheader split against the visiting Chicago Cubs on Saturday night.
Down 4-1 after three innings in the nightcap, the Cubs rallied and took the lead 5-4 on Nico Hoerner’s sacrifice fly to right-center field in the sixth. But Cubs closer Craig Kimbrel (0-1) could not make it stand up, issuing three walks and throwing three wild pitches in the bottom of the seventh. Aristides Aquino tied the game with an RBI single to center and Castellanos scored on Kimbrel’s third wild pitch -- which was strike three to Jose Garcia and would have been the third out of the inning.
Chicago won the seven-inning doubleheader opener, 3-0, to snap a three-game slide.
On what was a long day, things got testy in the nightcap.
Cubs manager David Ross was ejected in the fourth inning for jawing at the umpiring crew after Reds starter Tejay Antone threw over the head of Anthony Rizzo. Warnings were issued, but the benches and bullpens cleared after Chicago’s Adbert Alzolay threw high at Cincinnati’s Shogo Akiyama in the bottom of the frame. No punches were thrown, but Reds manager David Bell, plus Joey Votto and Jesse Winker were tossed.
Ian Happ opened the game for the Cubs with a home run that landed at the base of the right-field foul pole. Happ has hit eight home runs in 24 career games at Cincinnati.
The Reds tied the game up in the bottom of the frame when Votto went deep to right field off Chicago starter Alec Mills for his first homer since Aug. 3. Ninth-place hitter Curt Casali put the Reds up 2-1 in the third with his fifth home run of the season, to left field off Mills. Winker made it 4-1 later in the frame with a line-drive shot over the right field wall for his 10th homer of 2020.
Chicago, though, got within one in the fourth on David Bote’s two-run homer to left-center field. The Cubs tied it at 4-4 in the fifth when Happ doubled home Hoerner, who reached base when Castellanos flubbed a fly ball in right to open the inning.
Reds reliever Joel Kuhnel (1-0) pitched a scoreless seventh inning to get the win.
--Field Level Media