Kyle Schwarber, Javier Baez and Ben Zobrist homered to back the strong pitching of Yu Darvish on Sunday afternoon, sending the Chicago Cubs to a 6-1 victory over the host Cincinnati Reds.
In winning for the first time in 2018, Darvish (1-3) allowed a first-inning run, but then shut out the Reds over the next five innings, allowing his teammates to build a lead that produced the Cubs’ third win in the four-game series.
The clubs split a double-header on Saturday.
After Scott Schebler’s infield hit had given the Reds a 1-0 lead in the first, the Cubs responded immediately with back-to-back homers by Schwarber and Baez after Ian Happ had walked to lead off the top of the second.
Schwarber’s homer was his eighth of the season, Baez clubbed his 11th.
Zobrist increased the lead to 4-1 in the fifth with a solo shot off Reds starter Tyler Mahle (3-6). It was the second of the season for Zobrist.
Mahle was pulled after six innings, having allowed four runs on seven hits. He walked two and struck out six.
Darvish limited the Reds to two hits in his six innings. He walked three and struck out seven in his 94-pitch outing, during which he also hit two batters.
Four Cubs pitchers combined for 13 strikeouts in the game.
The Cubs tacked on two runs in the seventh against the Cincinnati bullpen, with an error setting the stage for Albert Almora Jr.’s sacrifice fly and Anthony Rizzo’s RBI single for a 6-1 lead. Both runs were unearned.
Schwarber was ejected by home plate umpire John Tumpane for disputing a called third strike that ended the seventh. It was his second consecutive strikeout after two hits, including the homer.
Baez had three hits and Almora joined Schwarber with two for the Cubs, who have won nine of their last 13 games.
Zobrist scored two of Chicago’s six runs in the finale of a six-game trip, during which the Cubs won four of six.
Joey Votto had two singles for the Reds, who totaled just three hits while losing for the fifth time in their last seven games.
—Field Level Media