Addison Russell tied a career high with four hits Friday night and Jon Lester permitted just two hits over six innings as the Chicago Cubs routed the Cincinnati Reds 8-1 at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.
Russell’s chance at the first five-hit game of his career ended with a walk in the eighth inning. By then, the game was well in hand, with Chicago collecting a whopping 15 hits off three Reds pitchers. Willson Contreras went 3-for-6 with an RBI while Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo each bagged two hits.
After a 93-minute rain delay before first pitch, the first five Cubs to bat touched Homer Bailey (1-6) for hits. Ben Zobrist singled and Bryant doubled to set the table. Rizzo, Contreras and Russell all dug in and took bites with RBI singles for a 3-0 lead before Bailey got his first out.
Chicago made it 4-0 in the third when Javier Baez grounded into a double play with the bases loaded, scoring Contreras. By the time the Cubs had circled through their order twice, Bailey was coming to the plate for his first at-bat in the third.
It was unsuccessful, like most of Cincinnati’s plate appearances against Lester. The veteran left-hander didn’t allow a hit until second baseman Scooter Gennett started the fourth with a single to right. But the hit was erased four pitches later by a 5-4-3 double play ball off Eugenio Suarez’s bat.
Lester (4-1) walked one and struck out eight in six innings. His shutout bid ended when Adam Duvall led off the fifth with his ninth homer, a 386-foot blast to left-center field.
By then, the Cubs had sent Bailey packing with two runs in their half of the fifth. Kyle Schwarber followed Russell’s third hit by lacing a double to center that scored him from first. Lester later helped the offense by dropping a squeeze bunt which plated Schwarber.
Bailey lasted 4 2/3 innings, allowing 10 hits and six runs with five walks and three strikeouts.
Baez’s infield hit in the eighth scored Rizzo to make it 7-1, and an error by Gennett in the ninth chased Albert Almora Jr. home to cap the scoring.
—Field Level Media