|Chi. Cubs (14-16) «||0||3||2||0||4||1||0||4||0||14||15||1|
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.
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.
|Starlin Castro hits a homer in his first major league at-bat on his way to a record day. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Ryan Theriot, 2B||6||1||1||0||0||0||2||.333|
|Kosuke Fukudome, RF||4||1||2||1||2||1||0||.329|
|Derrek Lee, 1B||4||3||2||0||2||1||2||.227|
|Marlon Byrd, CF||6||2||2||2||0||1||6||.339|
|Aramis Ramirez, 3B||3||2||1||0||2||0||3||.153|
|Jeff Baker, 3B||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.204|
|Alfonso Soriano, LF||3||1||1||0||1||1||4||.316|
|Sean Marshall, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Mike Fontenot, PH||1||1||1||4||0||0||0||.306|
|James Russell, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|John Grabow, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Geovany Soto, C||4||2||3||1||1||0||0||.362|
|Starlin Castro, SS||5||1||2||6||0||0||3||.400|
|Carlos Silva, P||3||0||0||0||0||1||1||.100|
|Justin Berg, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b- Tyler Colvin, PH-LF||2||0||0||0||0||1||3||.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)|
|Carlos Silva (W,3-0)||5||10||4||4||1||3||1||3.50|
|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|
|Orlando Cabrera, SS||5||0||2||0||0||2||0||.264|
|Brandon Phillips, 2B||4||0||0||0||0||0||2||.248|
|Paul Janish, 2B||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.300|
|Joey Votto, 1B||5||2||3||0||0||2||1||.317|
|Scott Rolen, 3B||4||1||2||0||0||1||1||.273|
|Miguel Cairo, 3B||1||1||1||1||0||0||0||.160|
|Jay Bruce, RF||3||1||1||2||2||1||0||.245|
|Jonny Gomes, LF||5||0||3||2||0||1||3||.240|
|Drew Stubbs, CF||5||0||1||0||0||0||3||.175|
|Ramon Hernandez, C||5||1||2||0||0||2||2||.259|
|Homer Bailey, P||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.250|
|Micah Owings, P||2||1||1||2||0||0||0||.143|
|Carlos Fisher, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Chris Heisey, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||1||.000|
|Danny Herrera, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.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|
|Homer Bailey (L,0-2)||4||5||7||7||5||3||2||7.24|
|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|
|Attendance - 20030|
|Game Time - 3:19|
|Temperature - 81|
|Umpires - Home - Brian Runge, First Base - Jerry Layne, Second Base - Sam Holbrook, Third Base - Mike Winters|