Pinch-hitter Jesse Winker smashed a three-run homer and Joey Votto hit a go-ahead, RBI double as the host Cincinnati Reds rallied to win their seventh straight game, defeating the Chicago Cubs 8-6 on Sunday afternoon.
Cincinnati won the game with a seven-run seventh inning that included RBI hits by Winker, Votto, Tucker Barnhart on a single and Jose Peraza, who had two run-scoring plate appearances in the frame with a single and a walk.
Outside of the seventh inning, the Reds scored their only other run in the fifth as pitcher Michael Lorenzen hit a pinch-hit solo homer. It was his third career homer.
The Reds, who are in last place in the National League Central, nonetheless have the longest active win streak in the NL. They are 29-30 since manager Bryan Price was fired on April 19 and replaced by Jim Riggleman.
Chicago, which blew a five-run lead, was swept in a four-game series by the Reds for the first time since April of 1983.
Reliever Jackson Stephens (1-0) earned the win, pitching one inning and allowing one run on a homer by Albert Almora Jr.
Also leading the Cubs’ offense was Jason Heyward, who hit a two-run double, and Anthony Rizzo, who hit a two-run homer. It was Rizzo’s 12th homer of the season, ending an 11-game drought.
Almora went 3-for-5, and teammate Javier Baez went 2-for-4 with an RBI single.
Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant missed his second straight game due to a sore shoulder, but there wasn’t anything wrong with Chicago’s offense.
Pitching was the problem for the Cubs. Starter Mike Montgomery, who got a no-decision, had held Cincinnati to just one run in six innings. But Montgomery allowed hits to the first three batters he faced in the seventh and was removed.
Reliever Pedro Strop (3-1), who entered the game with a 1.76 ERA and a spotless win-loss record, faced nine batters and got only two of them out. He allowed four hits, three walks and four runs.
Strop’s first pitch of the game resulted in Winker’s home run, which was the Reds’ second pinch-hit long ball of the game.
Cincinnati’s Raisel Iglesias ended the game with a scoreless ninth inning, recording his 13th save of the season.
—Field Level Media