Chicago at Cincinnati

Chi. Cubs
W: C. Silva (3-0) L: H. Bailey (0-2)
HR: CHC - S. Castro (1), M. Byrd (6), M. Fontenot (1)   CIN - M. Owings (1)

Cubs' Castro explodes for home run, record six RBI in debut wire reports

CINCINNATI -- The kid sure knows how to answer a call.

Starlin Castro got awakened by his first call to the majors on Friday and arrived in historic style, hitting a three-run homer in his first at-bat and driving in a record six runs during the Chicago Cubs' 14-7 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.

"The kid -- what a debut!" manager Lou Piniella said. "He's got to be ecstatic. He should be."

The 20-year-old became the youngest shortstop in Cubs history when he stepped onto the field for the first time. Then, he became a sensation.

His homer off Homer Bailey (0-2) made him the sixth player in Cubs history to connect in his first at-bat. He added a bases-loaded triple, sliding headfirst into the record books with six RBI, the most ever in a modern day debut -- one more than the previous mark shared by four players.

The last player to drive in five runs in his debut was Ben Grieve in 1997.

"I didn't believe it," Castro said.

Believe it.

An authenticator from Major League Baseball gathered his blue game jersey, his cap and the lineup card, designating them as little pieces of the game's history.

The rookie's impressive arrival staked Chicago to a 9-0 lead after five innings. Carlos Silva (3-0) struggled anyway, lasting only five innings. He gave up a two-run homer by reliever Micah Owings in the fifth, when the Reds batted around for four runs.

Not nearly enough on a night when the newcomer named Starlin became a star. The victory snapped Chicago's three-game losing streak and became one of those reference-point moments in not only franchise history but baseball history as well.

"Amazing," said Silva, who was bothered by a tight neck. "Unbelievable. I was hitting behind him, looking at everything he was doing. I was like: 'Wow."'

No one saw it coming.

Castro was asleep at Double-A Tennessee after a night game when he got the call at 7 a.m. telling him to head for Cincinnati. At first, he didn't believe it. Once it sunk in, he called relatives and friends back in the Dominican Republic to relay the surprising news.

He found himself in the starting lineup, batting eighth because manager Lou Piniella wanted to break him in slowly.

He'd have none of that.

Wearing the No. 13 that former Reds shortstop Davey Concepcion made famous in Cincy, Castro came to the plate and worked Bailey to a 2-2 count in the second inning, then drove the next pitch over the wall in right field. No Cub had done that in his first at-bat since Jim Bullinger in 1992.

"I never expected to hit a home run my first at-bat," he said.

Castro lined out to Drew Stubbs the next time up, forcing the center fielder to make a sliding catch to rob him of another hit. He came up again in the fifth with the bases loaded and lined a ball into the gap in left-center, making it all the way to third with a headfirst slide.

Won't be the last time he kicks up dust in the majors.

"Definitely a little frustrating," said Bailey, who hung a breaking ball for Castro's homer. "That first home run, I thought it was going to die on the warning track. It didn't. I was getting a lot of first-pitch strikes, but I couldn't put anybody away."

Marlon Byrd added a two-run homer for the Cubs and narrowly missed another. His eighth-inning drive smacked off the yellow line at the top of the padding in left field. Third base umpire Mike Winters ruled the ball in play, a call that was upheld after a review that took 2 minutes, 24 seconds.

Mike Fontenot made it 14-4 with a pinch-hit grand slam in the eighth inning off Carlos Fisher.

  • Castro surpassed Marty Shay as the youngest Cubs shortstop to make his big league debut. Shay was 100 days older when he made it to the majors in 1916.
  • Castro's promotion meant Ryan Theriot had to move to second base. Theriot became the Cubs' everyday shortstop in 2007. He has played 80 games at second base during his career.
  • Orlando Cabrera batted leadoff for the Reds for the first time. Stubbs was dropped from first to seventh.
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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Starlin Castro hits a homer in his first major league at-bat on his way to a record day. (AP)
Starlin Castro hits a homer in his first major league at-bat on his way to a record day. (AP)

Players of the Game

S. Castro
AB 5
R 1
H 2
HR 1

J. Gomes
AB 5
R 0
H 3
HR 0

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Chicago Cubs
Ryan Theriot, 2B6110002 .333
Kosuke Fukudome, RF4121210 .329
Derrek Lee, 1B4320212 .227
Marlon Byrd, CF6222016 .339
Aramis Ramirez, 3B3210203 .153
    Jeff Baker, 3B0000000 .204
Alfonso Soriano, LF3110114 .316
    Sean Marshall, P0000000 .000
   a- Mike Fontenot, PH1114000 .306
    James Russell, P0000000 .000
    John Grabow, P0000000 .000
Geovany Soto, C4231100 .362
Starlin Castro, SS5126003 .400
Carlos Silva, P3000011 .100
    Justin Berg, P0000000 .000
   b- Tyler Colvin, PH-LF2000013 .271
a-homered for Marshall in the 8th
b-struck out for Berg in the 7th
2B - Kosuke Fukudome (7, Owings), Derrek Lee (2, Herrera), Marlon Byrd (12, Fisher), Geovany Soto (4, Fisher)
3B - Starlin Castro (1, Owings)
HR - Marlon Byrd (6, Bailey), Mike Fontenot (1, Fisher), Starlin Castro (1, Bailey)
RBI - Kosuke Fukudome (18), Marlon Byrd 2 (21), Mike Fontenot 4 (10), Geovany Soto (10), Starlin Castro 6 (6)
2-OUT RBI - Geovany Soto (3), Starlin Castro 3 (3)
SB - Ryan Theriot (6, 2nd base off Owings/Hernandez), Kosuke Fukudome (2, 2nd base off Bailey/Hernandez)
Team LOB - 8
DP - Castro-Theriot-Lee, Ramirez-Theriot-Lee
E - Aramis Ramirez (5, Throwing)
Chicago Cubs
Carlos Silva (W,3-0) 51044131 3.50
Justin Berg 1100010 2.77
Sean Marshall 1000030 2.25
James Russell 1100020 2.70
John Grabow 1433110 9.26
WP - Carlos Silva (2), Justin Berg (1), John Grabow (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Carlos Silva 92-61, Justin Berg 14-10, Sean Marshall 15-12, James Russell 18-13, John Grabow 24-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Carlos Silva 6-5, Justin Berg 2-0
Batters Faced - Carlos Silva 25, Justin Berg 4, Sean Marshall 3, James Russell 4, John Grabow 8
Cincinnati Reds
Orlando Cabrera, SS5020020 .264
Brandon Phillips, 2B4000002 .248
    Paul Janish, 2B1000000 .300
Joey Votto, 1B5230021 .317
Scott Rolen, 3B4120011 .273
    Miguel Cairo, 3B1111000 .160
Jay Bruce, RF3112210 .245
Jonny Gomes, LF5032013 .240
Drew Stubbs, CF5010003 .175
Ramon Hernandez, C5120022 .259
Homer Bailey, P1000000 .250
    Micah Owings, P2112000 .143
    Carlos Fisher, P0000000 .000
   a- Chris Heisey, PH1000011 .000
    Danny Herrera, P0000000 .000
a-struck out for Fisher in the 8th
2B - Joey Votto (5, Grabow), Scott Rolen (4, Silva), Miguel Cairo (1, Grabow), Jonny Gomes (2, Grabow)
HR - Micah Owings (1, Silva)
RBI - Miguel Cairo (2), Jay Bruce 2 (13), Jonny Gomes 2 (15), Micah Owings 2 (2)
2-OUT RBI - Miguel Cairo (1), Jay Bruce 2 (6), Jonny Gomes 2 (5)
Team LOB - 10
DP - B. Phillips-Cabrera-Votto
Cincinnati Reds
Homer Bailey (L,0-2) 4577532 7.24
Micah Owings 3633130 4.41
Carlos Fisher 1344201 16.62
Danny Herrera 1100000 1.93
IBB - Ramirez by Carlos Fisher
WP - Micah Owings (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Homer Bailey 94-56, Micah Owings 62-43, Carlos Fisher 27-15, Danny Herrera 13-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Homer Bailey 4-4, Micah Owings 2-4, Carlos Fisher 3-0, Danny Herrera 1-2
Batters Faced - Homer Bailey 21, Micah Owings 16, Carlos Fisher 8, Danny Herrera 4
Game Information
Attendance - 20030
Game Time - 3:19
Temperature - 81
Umpires - Home - Brian Runge, First Base - Jerry Layne, Second Base - Sam Holbrook, Third Base - Mike Winters