Cincinnati at Chicago

Chi. Cubs
W: R. Wells (6-4) L: A. Harang (5-11)
HR: CIN - A. Harang (1)   CHC - M. Fontenot (8), A. Ramirez (6), J. Baker (1), D. Lee (19)

Ramirez puts offense on shoulders, carries Cubs to win wire reports

CHICAGO -- Aramis Ramirez is giving the Chicago Cubs the clutch hitting they have lacked, even while he is in pain.

Ramirez homered to snap a sixth-inning tie and had a pair of two-out, run-producing hits in his most productive game since coming off the disabled list, leading the Cubs to an 8-5 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Friday.

"The good two-out hitting," Cubs manager Lou Piniella said when asked what he missed most during Ramirez's absence. "He knows how to drive in runs. He's done it his whole career. He's a good, professional bat in the middle part of your lineup. We've missed that for a long, long time here. Get him going and it really helps."

It took time to get Ramirez going. In his first 11 games after missing nearly two months due to a separated shoulder, Ramirez was batting .190 with two RBI. But he followed Wednesday's two-hit, two-RBI game at Philadelphia with Friday's four-hit performance.

"It's there, and it's going to be there," Ramirez, who winces after some swings, said of his shoulder pain. "I'm going to have to deal with it."

He has driven in 100-plus runs six times. That bat is good medicine for an ailing Cubs offense that entered Friday batting .224 with two outs and runners in scoring position.

"I'm the cleanup hitter, and I'm here to drive in runs in key situations," Ramirez said. "Any time you lose your cleanup hitter, it's going to affect everybody. We have a great team. The second half we're playing pretty good, and hopefully we keep going."

Mike Fontenot, Jeff Baker and Derrek Lee also homered for the Cubs, who have won eight of 11 games.

The Reds dropped their sixth straight road game despite starting pitcher Aaron Harang's first career home run. At 44-51, they are a season-worst seven games under .500 -- and they're not happy about it.

"It's a very frustrating game, frustrating road trip, frustrating since the second half started," Cincinnati manager Dusty Baker said.

Cubs rookie Randy Wells (6-4), who allowed seven hits in six innings, is 6-0 when receiving at least four runs of support. Aaron Heilman and Carlos Marmol each pitched a scoreless inning of relief before Kevin Gregg gave up Willy Taveras' two-run single in the ninth.

Gregg ended the game by retiring Joey Votto, Cincinnati's best hitter, on a called third strike with two men on base.

"Joey's not going to end the game like that unless he thinks that was a ball," Dusty Baker said. "There were a couple of questionable calls. Mike Reilly is a good umpire, but you just hate to end the game like that."

The rest of Cincinnati's scoring came on the second-inning, three-run shot by Harang, a career .090 hitter who has struck out 178 times in 390 at-bats. He said it was his first homer since high school.

"I've been working on that for quite a while and it finally happened," Harang said. "I'll have to call [former Reds slugger Adam] Dunn and tell him I finally got one. He's been all over me."

Harang (5-11), who gave up nine hits and four runs in six innings, is 0-7 with a 5.17 ERA in his last 11 starts. After going 32-17 in the 2006 and 2007 seasons, he is 11-28 in 2008 and 2009.

Ramirez had an RBI double in the first and made it 3-3 with his third-inning single. He later added another double.

Fontenot homered in the second. In the eighth, Jeff Baker had a pinch-hit homer off Daniel Ray Herrera, and Lee added a two-run shot off Jared Burton for an 8-3 lead.


  • Cubs LHP Ted Lilly underwent tests on his shoulder after complaining of pain and will miss Saturday's scheduled start. Piniella called it tendinitis and said Lilly might have to go on the DL, but the Cubs' media relations department called that prognosis premature. Kevin Hart will pitch in Lilly's place.
  • The Reds scratched LF Laynce Nix due to a stiff back and replaced him with Jonny Gomes, who went 0-for-4.
  • Former Cubs star and current broadcaster Ron Santo was back at work Friday after missing two weeks with a kidney infection.
  • Reds RHP Edinson Volquez, who went 17-6 in 2008 but has made only one start since May 16 because of back and elbow problems, threw a pain-free 60-pitch bullpen session.
  • The Reds activated SS Alex Gonzalez from the DL.
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.
Aramis Ramirez does his damage but has help from Derrek Lee, who hits a homer of his own. (AP)
Aramis Ramirez does his damage but has help from Derrek Lee, who hits a homer of his own. (AP)

Players of the Game

A. Ramirez
AB 5
R 1
H 4
HR 1

R. Hanigan
AB 4
R 2
H 3
HR 0

Related Video

June 16, 2017
Stock Down: Cincinnati Reds (0:46)
Cincinnati Reds
Chris Dickerson, RF4000131 .263
Willy Taveras, CF5022001 .249
Joey Votto, 1B5010032 .349
Brandon Phillips, 2B4010001 .271
Edwin Encarnacion, 3B3010111 .212
Jonny Gomes, LF4000012 .294
Ryan Hanigan, C4230001 .323
Alex Gonzalez, SS4100003 .210
Aaron Harang, P1113000 .167
   a- Adam Rosales, PH1000000 .207
    Nick Masset, P0000000 .000
    Danny Herrera, P0000000 .000
    Jared Burton, P0000000 .000
   b- Jerry Hairston Jr., PH1110000 .253
a-grounded out for Harang in the 7th
b-doubled for Burton in the 9th
2B - Edwin Encarnacion (5, R. Wells), Jerry Hairston Jr. (18, Gregg)
HR - Aaron Harang (1, R. Wells)
SH - Aaron Harang (5)
RBI - Willy Taveras 2 (14), Aaron Harang 3 (6)
2-OUT RBI - Willy Taveras 2 (3), Aaron Harang 3 (6)
SB - Chris Dickerson (8, 2nd base off R. Wells/Hill), Brandon Phillips (15, 2nd base off R. Wells/Hill)
Team LOB - 7
Cincinnati Reds
Aaron Harang (L,5-11) 6944162 4.25
Nick Masset 1100110 2.43
Danny Herrera 0.2122111 2.97
Jared Burton 0.1322001 5.70
WP - Nick Masset (5)
Pitches-Strikes - Aaron Harang 119-74, Nick Masset 16-10, Danny Herrera 13-6, Jared Burton 10-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Aaron Harang 4-8, Nick Masset 1-1, Danny Herrera 1-0, Jared Burton 1-0
Batters Faced - Aaron Harang 28, Nick Masset 5, Danny Herrera 4, Jared Burton 4
Chicago Cubs
Kosuke Fukudome, CF4220003 .267
Ryan Theriot, SS5111012 .298
Derrek Lee, 1B5122002 .283
Aramis Ramirez, 3B5143011 .325
Milton Bradley, RF4010123 .242
Alfonso Soriano, LF4010012 .245
    Carlos Marmol, P0000000 .000
    Kevin Gregg, P0000000 .000
Mike Fontenot, 2B3111002 .236
   a- Jeff Baker, PH1111000 .191
    Andres Blanco, 2B0000000 .224
Koyie Hill, C3010120 .200
Randy Wells, P2000001 .154
   b- Micah Hoffpauir, PH1000013 .240
    Aaron Heilman, P0000000 .000
    Reed Johnson, LF0100100 .248
a-homered for Fontenot in the 8th
b-struck out for R. Wells in the 6th
2B - Kosuke Fukudome (21, Harang), Aramis Ramirez 2 (6, Harang, Burton)
HR - Derrek Lee (19, Burton), Aramis Ramirez (6, Harang), Mike Fontenot (8, Harang), Jeff Baker (1, Herrera)
SH - Kosuke Fukudome (3)
RBI - Ryan Theriot (37), Derrek Lee 2 (62), Aramis Ramirez 3 (23), Mike Fontenot (31), Jeff Baker (8)
2-OUT RBI - Ryan Theriot (17), Derrek Lee 2 (23), Aramis Ramirez 2 (14)
SB - Ryan Theriot (14, 2nd base off Burton/Hanigan)
Team LOB - 9
DP - Ramirez-Fontenot-Lee
E - Mike Fontenot (6, Misplayed grounder)
Chicago Cubs
Randy Wells (W,6-4) 6733151 3.10
Aaron Heilman (H,8) 1000010 4.17
Carlos Marmol (H,22) 1000010 3.23
Kevin Gregg 1322110 3.47
Pitches-Strikes - Randy Wells 88-54, Aaron Heilman 12-8, Carlos Marmol 13-8, Kevin Gregg 22-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Randy Wells 7-6, Aaron Heilman 2-0
Batters Faced - Randy Wells 26, Aaron Heilman 3, Carlos Marmol 3, Kevin Gregg 7
Game Information
Attendance - 41406
Game Time - 2:57
Temperature - 78
Umpires - Home - Mike Reilly, First Base - Chuck Meriwether, Second Base - Laz Diaz, Third Base - Eric Cooper