|Chi. Cubs (53-48)||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||2||4||9||1|
|Cincinnati (45-59) «||0||0||1||1||0||2||0||0||1||5||11||2|
Freel threw out the potential go-ahead run at home in the top of the ninth and Encarnacion, who had homered earlier, drove in Norris Hopper with a game-winning single in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Reds a 5-4 win over the Chicago Cubs on Friday.
The walkoff win was the second in two nights and third of the week for the Reds, who improved to 4-1 on their current homestand. They have won eight of their last nine at Great American Ball Park.
"I'd rather some laughers," said manager Pete Mackanin, who watched closer David Weathers give up five hits and two runs to blow a 4-2 lead in the ninth. "What I like about our guys is, after (Chicago) tied the game, they didn't panic."
Mark DeRosa and Jason Kendall had run-scoring singles off Weathers (2-3), and the Cubs seemed ready to take the lead when pinch-hitter Mike Fontenot lofted a bloop single to short center with Jacque Jones on second base and one out. Freel barehanded the ball and fired it to catcher David Ross, who caught it and held on for the out as Jones ran into him.
"It was perfect," said Ross, who dislocated his right pinky on Wednesday and had it put back in place that same night. "If it was on the plate, I would've had a tough time blocking it, but it took me up the line and right into the runner. I'm a little bigger than he is. I'm just a fat guy trying to get in the way."
"When I saw he had it, I had to try to jar it loose," Jones said.
After Weathers got the third out, Hopper led off the bottom of the ninth against Bobby Howry (5-6) with a single to right. Pinch-hitter Juan Castro sacrificed Hopper to second, and Encarnacion singled between diving third baseman Aramis Ramirez and the bag for the win.
"It was good to see Edwin come up big," Mackanin said. "He's been feeling bad about himself. I've never seen anyone so happy."
Freel and Encarnacion both left the clubhouse before the media arrived.
The Cubs, who entered Friday with the major leagues' best record (31-16) since June 3, have lost consecutive games for the second time in less than a week. Chicago dropped two straight at Arizona last weekend.
Pitching through a middle-innings drizzle, Reds starter Bronson Arroyo allowed two unearned runs and one walk while striking out five in 7 2/3 innings. He also hit a batter.
Beginning with Derrek Lee's double-play ball that ended the second inning, Arroyo retired 12 consecutive batters before DeRosa's two-out single to left in the seventh.
"He threw a lot of breaking balls," Chicago manager Lou Piniella said. "He's a crafty guy. He knows how to pitch."
Ryan Theriot's hit to right with one out in the first inning skidded through Ken Griffey Jr.'s legs for a two-base error, allowing Theriot to reach third. He scored on Lee's sacrifice fly to give the Cubs a 1-0 lead.
Encarnacion gave Cincinnati a 2-1 lead in the fourth with his seventh home run of the season and first in 49 at-bats since July 7. The 391-foot blast down the line reached the second deck in left field.
Hill finished with eight strikeouts, the most since tying his career high with 11 in Chicago's 2-1 win at Atlanta on June 7. He gave up six hits and three walks in five innings while falling to 1-3 over his last eight starts.
Keppinger gave Arroyo some breathing room with his sixth-inning double to left, which drove in Ross from second. Freel scored from first when the ball got away from Alfonso Soriano for an error.
|Edwin Encarnacion comes up big with a game-winning single to drive in Norris Hopper. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Alfonso Soriano, LF||5||0||0||0||0||1||3||.293|
|Ryan Theriot, SS||3||1||2||1||1||0||0||.280|
|Derrek Lee, 1B||3||0||0||1||0||2||2||.332|
|Aramis Ramirez, 3B||4||1||1||0||0||0||0||.319|
|Cliff Floyd, RF||4||0||1||0||0||2||0||.293|
|Angel Pagan, PR-RF||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||.279|
|Mark DeRosa, 2B||4||0||3||1||0||0||0||.291|
|Jacque Jones, CF||4||0||0||0||0||0||3||.244|
|Jason Kendall, C||3||0||1||1||0||0||0||.223|
|Rich Hill, P||2||0||0||0||0||1||2||.108|
|Rocky Cherry, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Will Ohman, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Michael Wuertz, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Matt Murton, PH||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||.250|
|Scott Eyre, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Carlos Marmol, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b- Mike Fontenot, PH||1||0||1||0||0||0||2||.326|
|Bob Howry, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-grounded out for Wuertz in the 8th|
|b-singled for Marmol in the 9th|
|2B - Ryan Theriot (17, Arroyo), Mark DeRosa (19, Arroyo)|
|SF - Derrek Lee (3)|
|RBI - Ryan Theriot (28), Derrek Lee (51), Mark DeRosa (51), Jason Kendall (23)|
|2-OUT RBI - Ryan Theriot (8)|
|Team LOB - 6|
|E - Alfonso Soriano (5, Misplayed grounder)|
|Bob Howry (L,5-6)||0.1||2||1||1||0||0||0||4.35|
|HBP - Keppinger (by Rich Hill), Freel (by Rocky Cherry)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Rich Hill 104-63, Rocky Cherry 14-7, Will Ohman 9-8, Michael Wuertz 17-11, Scott Eyre 13-7, Carlos Marmol 5-5, Bob Howry 10-7|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Rich Hill 4-3, Will Ohman 2-1, Scott Eyre 1-1, Bob Howry 1-0|
|Batters Faced - Rich Hill 25, Rocky Cherry 4, Will Ohman 3, Michael Wuertz 3, Scott Eyre 4, Carlos Marmol 1, Bob Howry 3|
|Ryan Freel, CF||4||2||2||0||0||2||1||.246|
|Jeff Keppinger, SS||3||0||2||1||0||0||1||.326|
|Ken Griffey Jr., RF||2||0||0||0||3||0||2||.275|
|Brandon Phillips, 2B||5||0||1||1||0||1||7||.280|
|Adam Dunn, LF||4||0||0||0||0||2||5||.266|
|Norris Hopper, LF||1||1||1||0||0||0||0||.281|
|Jeff Conine, 1B||4||0||3||0||0||0||0||.265|
|David Weathers, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Juan Castro, PH||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.180|
|Edwin Encarnacion, 3B||5||1||2||2||0||2||5||.261|
|David Ross, C||2||1||0||0||2||1||2||.194|
|Bronson Arroyo, P||3||0||0||0||0||3||3||.085|
|Scott Hatteberg, 1B||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.312|
|a-hit a sacrifice bunt for Weathers in the 9th|
|2B - Ryan Freel (13, Eyre), Jeff Keppinger (5, Cherry), Brandon Phillips (16, Hill), Jeff Conine (9, Hill)|
|HR - Edwin Encarnacion (7, Hill)|
|SH - Jeff Keppinger (3), Juan Castro (3)|
|RBI - Jeff Keppinger (11), Brandon Phillips (62), Edwin Encarnacion 2 (40)|
|2-OUT RBI - Brandon Phillips (26)|
|SB - Brandon Phillips (19, 3rd base off Hill/Kendall)|
|Team LOB - 13|
|Outfield Assists - Ryan Freel 1|
|DP - Encarnacion-B. Phillips-Conine|
|E - Ken Griffey Jr. (7, Misplayed grounder), Jeff Keppinger (1, Throwing)|
|David Weathers (BS,5; W,2-3)||1.1||5||2||2||0||1||0||3.35|
|HBP - Kendall (by Bronson Arroyo)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Bronson Arroyo 123-77, David Weathers 22-16|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Bronson Arroyo 8-10, David Weathers 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Bronson Arroyo 29, David Weathers 8|
|Attendance - 36635|
|Game Time - 3:15|
|Temperature - 69|
|Umpires - Home - C.B. Bucknor, First Base - Joe West, Second Base - Ed Rapuano, Third Base - Ed Hickox|