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Chicago at Cincinnati

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Chi. Cubs (19-15)000000000060
Cincinnati (14-21) «05002200x9150

Reds make Lieber part of Cubs history, give Volquez plenty of support

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

CINCINNATI -- Nothing special about Joey Votto's first homer, a hanging slider that he pulled into the seats in right field for a modest 1-0 lead.

What followed was breathtaking.

Jon Lieber became only the second pitcher in Chicago Cubs history to give up four homers in an inning, and Votto connected three times in all as the Cincinnati Reds powered their way to a 9-0 victory Wednesday.

"I'm like a kid," said Votto, a second-year player who had never hit more than one in a game. "I thought it was cool. It's not a big part of my game."

On a wet, windy afternoon, the home run was everything.

Votto started a four-homer second inning off Lieber (2-2), making his first start of the season. Adam Dunn and Paul Bako also had solo shots, and Jerry Hairston Jr.'s two-run homer completed the rally.

Known throughout his career for impeccable control, Lieber joined Phil Norton as the only Cubs pitchers to allow four homers in an inning -- a surprising statistic, considering how the wind often blows out at Wrigley.

"It just happened so fast," said Lieber, who had never given up more than three in a game. "You try and regroup, and it just didn't happen. Basically, (pitches were) across the middle of the plate. I'm the kind of pitcher that's not going to get away with stuff like that."

The inning was over, but Votto and the Reds weren't even close to finished.

Brandon Phillips and Votto had back-to-back solo homers off Sean Marshall in the fifth, with Votto sending a fastball into the Reds' bullpen in center.

An inning later, Votto went to the opposite field on a fastball from Sean Gallagher, a two-run homer that left him with seven overall for the season.

Given a chance to try for a fourth, Votto grounded out in the eighth inning against Michael Wuertz.

"I'm not going to lie: It was in the back of my head," Votto said. "I thought if I got a good swing on a good pitch, I had a chance to do some good. In games like this, you don't know why it happens. You just go with the flow, and that's what I did."

A sluggish offense finally started slugging, bringing the Reds only their second victory in eight games.

"It was great to see that -- hitting all those home runs, scoring all those runs, especially after not hitting any," manager Dusty Baker said. "Those things go in streaks. Home runs go in streaks, hitting goes in streaks, good pitching goes in streaks. We had some good streaking going today."

The seven homers were Cincinnati's most since it hit an NL-record nine at Philadelphia on Sept. 4, 1999. Votto became the 23rd Reds player to hit three in a game, the first since Aaron Boone on May 8, 2003.

The wind was gusting and swirling, and rain moved in midway through the game. No problem for Edinson Volquez (5-1), who has been the Reds' best starter.

The major leagues' most prolific offense managed only four hits in seven innings off the right-hander, who has dominated NL hitters. Volquez, obtained in the trade last December that sent Josh Hamilton to Texas, has allowed one earned run or less in each of his seven starts.

Volquez struck out 10 while lowering his ERA to an NL-best 1.06, a number that surprises even him.

"The last two years, I haven't thrown the ball like I'm throwing right now," Volquez said. "Every pitch I throw, I've got a reason for throwing. Before, I'd just throw a pitch."

The 38-year-old Lieber made his first eight appearances out of the bullpen. When left-hander Rich Hill was sent to the minors to work on his control over the weekend, Lieber was the logical choice to move into the rotation.

He lasted only two innings. Half of his relief appearances went at least as long. Manager Lou Piniella was noncommittal about whether he will get another start.

"I saw the end results," Piniella said. "They hit the ball pretty hard."

Not since Norton gave up four homers in the fourth inning at Dodger Stadium on Aug. 8, 2000, had a Cubs pitcher been hit so hard. To that point, the Cubs hadn't allowed more than two homers in any game so far this season.

The four homers also tied Cincinnati's record for one inning, accomplished many times. The most recent had been Aug. 17, 1996, at Riverfront Stadium, when Eddie Taubensee, Reggie Sanders, Jeff Branson and Barry Larkin connected against the Colorado Rockies.

Notes

  • The Cubs have lost nine of 13. They are off on Thursday before opening their longest homestand of the season, 10 games against Arizona, San Diego and Pittsburgh.
  • The Cubs' record for homers allowed in a game is eight. It was the seventh time since 1960 that the Cubs allowed seven homers in a game.
  • Phillips left with a bruised left calf, sustained on a foul tip.
 
Copyright 2014 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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Joey Votto gets the Reds started and finishes the job himself with his three home-run effort.  (AP)
Joey Votto gets the Reds started and finishes the job himself with his three home-run effort. (AP)

Players of the Game
Cincinnati

J. Votto
AB 4
R 3
H 3
HR 3
RBI 4
Cincinnati

E. Volquez
IP 7.0
H 4
ER 0
BB 6
K 10
 
Chicago Cubs
Reed Johnson, LF5000033 .257
Ryan Theriot, SS1010100 .331
    Sean Marshall, P10100001.000
    Sean Gallagher, P0000000 .000
   a- Daryle Ward, PH-1B1010100 .136
Derrek Lee, 1B4010015 .324
    Bob Howry, P0000000 .000
    Michael Wuertz, P0000000 .000
   b- Alfonso Soriano, PH1000002 .188
Aramis Ramirez, 3B3010012 .279
    Mark DeRosa, 3B1000000 .257
Kosuke Fukudome, RF4010001 .320
Geovany Soto, C1000210 .345
   c- Henry Blanco, PH-C1000001 .350
Ronny Cedeno, 2B-SS4000014 .345
Felix Pie, CF4000032 .217
Jon Lieber, P0000000 .000
   d- Mike Fontenot, PH-2B1000310 .286
Totals32060711  
a-walked for Gallagher in the 7th
b-hit into fielder's choice for Wuertz in the 9th
c-lined out for Soto in the 8th
d-walked for Lieber in the 3rd
Chicago Cubs
Jon Lieber (L,2-2) 2755024 3.80
Sean Marshall 2222322 4.15
Sean Gallagher 2422111 4.50
Bob Howry 1200000 6.61
Michael Wuertz 1000010 4.50
Pitches-Strikes - Jon Lieber 49-37, Sean Marshall 48-26, Sean Gallagher 41-25, Bob Howry 25-16, Michael Wuertz 9-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jon Lieber 2-2, Sean Marshall 1-3, Sean Gallagher 3-2, Bob Howry 2-1, Michael Wuertz 1-1
Batters Faced - Jon Lieber 13, Sean Marshall 11, Sean Gallagher 11, Bob Howry 5, Michael Wuertz 3
Cincinnati Reds
Corey Patterson, CF5010023 .200
Jerry Hairston Jr., SS5122001 .345
Ken Griffey Jr., RF5020001 .244
Brandon Phillips, 2B4221002 .276
    Ryan Freel, 2B1000002 .304
Joey Votto, 1B4334100 .302
Adam Dunn, LF3111221 .219
Edwin Encarnacion, 3B4010101 .258
Paul Bako, C4121014 .310
    Javier Valentin, C0000000 .207
Edinson Volquez, P2110012 .133
   a- Scott Hatteberg, PH1000000 .128
    David Weathers, P0000000 .000
    Jeremy Affeldt, P0000000 .000
Totals38915946  
a-grounded out for Volquez in the 7th
Batting
HR - Jerry Hairston Jr. (1, Lieber), Brandon Phillips (6, Marshall), Joey Votto 3 (7, Lieber, Marshall, Gallagher), Adam Dunn (6, Lieber), Paul Bako (4, Lieber)
SH - Edinson Volquez (3)
RBI - Jerry Hairston Jr. 2 (5), Brandon Phillips (16), Joey Votto 4 (18), Adam Dunn (16), Paul Bako (12)
2-OUT RBI - Jerry Hairston Jr. 2 (4), Joey Votto 2 (5)
SB - Joey Votto (1, 2nd base off Marshall/Soto)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
DP - Encarnacion-B. Phillips-Votto
Cincinnati Reds
Edinson Volquez (W,5-1) 74006100 1.06
David Weathers 1100000 3.86
Jeremy Affeldt 1100110 3.07
Pitches-Strikes - Edinson Volquez 118-75, David Weathers 20-12, Jeremy Affeldt 20-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Edinson Volquez 6-4, David Weathers 1-2, Jeremy Affeldt 2-0
Batters Faced - Edinson Volquez 30, David Weathers 4, Jeremy Affeldt 5
Game Information
Attendance - 28418
Game Time - 2:58
Temperature - 73
Umpires - Home - Bill Welke, First Base - Chris Guccione, Second Base - Tim Welke, Third Base - Chuck Meriwether