Chicago at Cincinnati

Chi. Cubs
W: K. Mercker (1-0) L: J. Leicester (0-2)
S: D. Graves (5)
HR: CHC - C. Patterson (2), A. Ramirez (3), D. Lee (3), J. Burnitz (2)   CIN - A. Dunn (3), A. Dunn (4)

Reds 7, Cubs 6

CBS wire reports

CINCINNATI -- Not even four Cubs homers were enough for Kerry Wood in a city where he's never lost.

Adam Dunn hit two solo homers off Wood, and the Cincinnati Reds rallied for an improbable 7-6 victory Monday night against a pitcher who is almost always at his best when Chicago comes to town.

"It's definitely not fun being down 4-0 to a guy like him, but when we got back to the dugout, it was exactly like it always is," Dunn said. "We know we can score runs."

Derrek Lee hit the longest of the Cubs' four homers, a shot that bounced off the batter's eye and out of the ballpark, as Chicago went up 5-1 after three innings. In the past, that would have been a sure thing for Wood, who is 10-0 in 12 career starts in Cincinnati.

Not this time.

Wood was hampered in spring training by a sore shoulder and isn't yet back in form. He came a little closer on Monday, but remained winless in three starts with a 6.38 earned run average.

"I'm pleased with way I threw the ball, obviously not pleased with the results," said Wood, who gave up eight hits in six innings. "I thought I had decent command, and my slider was better than it has been this year. Overall, it was probably the best I've thrown. Unfortunately it didn't turn out the way I wanted it to."

Rich Aurilia's broken-bat, two-run single off Wood tied it in the sixth and left him with no-decision. An overworked bullpen then let it slip away.

Jon Leicester (0-2) walked the first two batters in the eighth and hit Wily Mo Pena, loading the bases. After Aurilia grounded into a third-to-home double play that kept it tied, Jason LaRue doubled to the wall in center for a 7-5 lead.

Kent Mercker (1-0) pitched two innings for the win. Danny Graves gave up a run-scoring single in the ninth to Neifi Perez, but retired Jeromy Burnitz on a grounder with runners on first-and-third to finish off his fifth save.

"That's such a tough one to lose," said Cubs reliever Glendon Rusch, who was limited to one inning because of a strained groin. "Sometimes it's a cumulative bad day. Today is one of them."

The Cubs hit four homers in the first three innings off shellshocked starter Matt Belisle, who was muttering to himself on the mound as he jerked his head and watched one ball after another clear the walls.

Corey Patterson, Aramis Ramirez and Burnitz also homered off Belisle, who moved into the rotation because Ramon Ortiz is disabled by a strained groin.

Thousands of Cubs fans in the stands reveled as Belisle gave up three homers and a double off the wall in a 17-pitch sequence of the first inning. Patterson started it with a two-out homer to right, Ramirez then hit one to left, and Burnitz doubled off the wall in left.

Lee then perfectly timed a breaking ball and hit it onto the roof of the batter's eye in center, a drive that bounced out of the park and was estimated at 482 feet. Albert Pujols is the only other batter to bounce one off the top of the batter's eye in the park's three seasons.

"I had a very tough time making adjustments," Belisle said. "On my breaking balls, I was just casting them instead of throwing them like I had been."

Burnitz completed the homer splurge with a solo shot in the third, making it 5-1.

Dunn is the only player to hit one out of the ballpark on the fly, a 535-foot homer over the eye last August that bounced on the street and came to rest on driftwood in the Ohio River. He started the Reds' comeback by leading off the second and fourth innings with homers on the first strikes he saw - fastballs, both times. They were his first homers since he hit two on opening day.

"Usually when you face him, you get one good pitch to hit," said Dunn, who has four homers off Wood in 29 career at-bats. "It might be the first one or the last one, so you've got to be ready for it."


SS Nomar Garciaparra, hitting .182, was out of the Cubs lineup but was inserted into the game in the eighth. ... Wood moved ahead of Bill Hutchison into fourth on the Cubs' strikeout list with 1,228. ... Rusch pitched a perfect seventh, but pulled groin muscles on one pitch and couldn't go another inning. ... It was Dunn's 11th multi-homer game ... Ken Griffey Jr. has gone 39 at-bats without a homer this season. In 1991, he didn't homer until his 45th at-bat, his longest season-opening drought.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Players of the Game

J. LaRue
AB 4
R 0
H 1
HR 0

A. Dunn
AB 2
R 3
H 2
HR 2

Related Video

Chicago Cubs
Jerry Hairston Jr., 2B-LF3010111 .286
Neifi Perez, SS-2B5011014 .379
Corey Patterson, CF5131002 .298
Aramis Ramirez, 3B5111002 .250
Jeromy Burnitz, RF5231002 .283
Derrek Lee, 1B4122001 .375
Todd Hollandsworth, LF4000002 .225
    Jon Leicester, P0000000 .000
Michael Barrett, C4000020 .128
Kerry Wood, P3010000 .167
    Glendon Rusch, P0000000 .000
    Nomar Garciaparra, SS0100100 .182
2B - Jeromy Burnitz (4, Belisle), Kerry Wood (1, Belisle)
HR - Corey Patterson (2, Belisle), Aramis Ramirez (3, Belisle), Jeromy Burnitz (2, Belisle), Derrek Lee (3, Belisle)
RBI - Neifi Perez (5), Corey Patterson (6), Aramis Ramirez (9), Jeromy Burnitz (6), Derrek Lee 2 (16)
2-OUT RBI - Corey Patterson (2), Aramis Ramirez (7), Derrek Lee 2 (5)
SB - Jerry Hairston Jr. (1, 3rd base off Weathers/LaRue)
Team LOB - 8
DP - Hairston-Perez-Lee, Ramirez-Barrett
E - Michael Barrett (2, wild throw)
Chicago Cubs
Kerry Wood 6855262 6.38
Glendon Rusch 1000020 2.08
Jon Leicester (L,0-2) 1121210 6.75
HBP - Pena (by Jon Leicester)
Pitches-Strikes - Kerry Wood 95-62, Glendon Rusch 14-10, Jon Leicester 26-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kerry Wood 4-7, Jon Leicester 1-0
Batters Faced - Kerry Wood 27, Glendon Rusch 3, Jon Leicester 6
Cincinnati Reds
D'Angelo Jimenez, 2B4000011 .195
Ken Griffey Jr., CF4021020 .282
Sean Casey, 1B3010101 .271
Joe Randa, 3B3000123 .357
Adam Dunn, LF2322200 .243
Wily Mo Pena, RF3210010 .346
Rich Aurilia, SS4112011 .194
Jason LaRue, C4012011 .303
Matt Belisle, P0000000 .000
   a- Jacob Cruz, PH1000000 .167
    Ben Weber, P0000000 .000
   b- Ryan Freel, PH1110000 .385
    David Weathers, P0000000 .000
   c- Austin Kearns, PH1000001 .206
    Kent Mercker, P0000000 .000
   d- Felipe Lopez, PH1000011 .267
    Danny Graves, P0000000 .000
a-flied out for Belisle in the 3rd
b-doubled for Weber in the 5th
c-hit into fielder's choice for Weathers in the 6th
d-struck out for Mercker in the 8th
2B - Ken Griffey Jr. (5, Wood), Wily Mo Pena (4, Wood), Jason LaRue (2, Leicester), Ryan Freel (2, Wood)
HR - Adam Dunn 2 (4, Wood, Wood)
RBI - Ken Griffey Jr. (3), Adam Dunn 2 (8), Rich Aurilia 2 (5), Jason LaRue 2 (4)
2-OUT RBI - Jason LaRue 2 (4)
Team LOB - 5
Outfield Assists - Wily Mo Pena 1
E - Adam Dunn (1, misplayed grounder)
Cincinnati Reds
Matt Belisle 3755104 6.75
Ben Weber 2200010 7.94
David Weathers 1100020 9.00
Kent Mercker (W,1-0) 2000000 1.50
Danny Graves (S,5) 1211110 4.26
HBP - Hairston (by Ben Weber)
WP - Danny Graves (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Matt Belisle 55-38, Ben Weber 25-15, David Weathers 16-12, Kent Mercker 17-12, Danny Graves 20-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Matt Belisle 4-4, Ben Weber 5-0, David Weathers 1-0, Kent Mercker 4-2, Danny Graves 1-1
Batters Faced - Matt Belisle 16, Ben Weber 9, David Weathers 4, Kent Mercker 6, Danny Graves 6
Game Information
Attendance - 25349
Game Time - 2:34
Temperature - 71
Umpires - Home - Greg Gibson, First Base - Brian Runge, Second Base - Charlie Reliford, Third Base - Angel A. Hernandez