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Chicago at Cincinnati

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Chi. Cubs (23-35)1000100002101
Cincinnati (31-30) «01123010x8100

Gomes drives in four as Reds pound sinking Cubs

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

CINCINNATI -- Jonny Gomes is starting to get his swing together. Naturally, he's doing it at the expense of the Chicago Cubs.

Gomes hit a three-run homer and drove in four overall, and the Cincinnati Reds sent the frustrated Cubs to their seventh straight loss, 8-2 on Monday night.

Gomes has only two homers since April 17, both of them for wins over the Cubs at Great American Ball Park. The left fielder hit 18 homers and drove in 86 runs last season, helping the Reds win the NL Central. His long slump has cut into his playing time.

He also singled home a run, lined out and was hit by a pitch -- an encouraging night.

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"You've got to crawl before you can walk," said Gomes, now batting .195. "After this game, I know I'm not hitting .310, but I had four good at-bats. I hit the ball hard in three of them and got hit by the pitch in the other one. I'll work off that."

Manager Dusty Baker was happy to see Gomes finally put together some good swings.

"I told Jonny, 'We need you,"' Baker said. "He was one of our best RBI men last year. If you're going to win a lot of games, you need a bunch of guys like that in your lineup."

The Reds improved to 5-1 against the Cubs and 17-5 over the last two seasons. They Cubs' seven-game slide is their longest since they dropped seven in a row last July 27-Aug. 3.

"We're just in a tough place right now," starter Matt Garza said.

Garza (2-5) came off the disabled list and lasted four innings, giving up four runs. Mike Leake (5-2) had an RBI single off the right-hander, who hadn't pitched since May 17 because of a sore elbow.

Gomes singled home a run off Garza in the second inning. He connected for his eighth homer off Jeff Samardzija, making it 7-2 in the fifth inning and giving the Cubs another bad memory. Gomes ended a monthlong homer drought on May 16 with a two-run shot that set up a 7-4 win over the Cubs and prompted Mike Quade to call a closed-door meeting with his players.

It didn't get any better in the Cubs' return.

Drew Stubbs hit a solo homer, and Jay Bruce had three hits and scored three times, helping the Reds win for only the sixth time in 19 games.

Leake gave up 10 hits and two runs in eight innings, improving to 3-0 in four career starts against the Cubs. He also ended a streak of 19 consecutive innings with at least one baserunner against Reds pitching.

"Everything was working," Leake said. "You always want to go long in any game. I'm happy that I could go eight innings."

The Cubs have repeatedly wasted scoring chances during their stretch of 10 losses in 12 games. They did it again on Monday, adding to their growing frustration.

Cubs starter Carlos Zambrano made amends before the game, apologizing to Carlos Marmol. Zambrano second-guessed the closer's pitch choices after a 3-2, 10-inning loss to St. Louis on Sunday. Zambrano also said after Sunday's loss that the Cubs were embarrassing and playing like a Triple-A team.

A moment out of Rookie League helped sink them on Monday.

Kosuke Fukudome and Darwin Barney reached in the third inning. With two outs, Carlos Pena singled sharply to right field, where Bruce came up with the ball quickly. Fukudome was held at third base. Pena assumed Fukudome would try to score and headed for second, then was tagged out before he could get back.

Fukudome, Barney and third base coach Ivan De Jesus stood motionless for a few seconds, stunned by the rally-killing lapse.

"You drop your head and you head for second being aggressive, and you look up and you're in no-man's land," Quade said. "A veteran guy -- I'm surprised to see that."

Notes

  • The Cubs sent LH reliever Scott Maine back to Triple-A Iowa to open a roster spot for Garza.
  • CF Tyler Colvin extended his slump to 0 for 32.
  • The Reds freshened their bullpen by calling up Daryl Thompson and optioning RH Chad Reineke to Triple-A Louisville. Cincinnati's bullpen leads the league in innings.
  • 3B Scott Rolen was out of the lineup for the second consecutive day with an illness. He's in a 3 for 18 slump.
  • Bruce extended his hitting streak to eight games. He was the NL's Player of the Month for May.
 
Copyright 2015 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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Jonny Gomes makes it 7-2 when he smacks this three-run shot in the fifth inning off Jeff Samardzija.  (Getty Images)
Jonny Gomes makes it 7-2 when he smacks this three-run shot in the fifth inning off Jeff Samardzija. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game
Cincinnati

J. Gomes
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 4
Cincinnati

M. Leake
IP 8.0
H 10
ER 2
BB 1
K 3
 

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Chicago Cubs
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Kosuke Fukudome, RF5130000 .310
Darwin Barney, 2B3120001 .301
Starlin Castro, SS3011013 .306
Carlos Pena, 1B2011112 .220
Aramis Ramirez, 3B4000003 .288
Blake DeWitt, LF4030000 .292
Geovany Soto, C4000003 .213
Tyler Colvin, CF4000001 .086
Matt Garza, P1000010 .048
   a- DJ LeMahieu, PH1000000 .167
    Jeff Samardzija, P0000000 .000
   b- Tony Campana, PH1000000 .258
    James Russell, P0000000 .125
    John Grabow, P0000000 .000
   c- Luis Montanez, PH1000000 .267
Totals33210213  
a-flied out for Garza in the 5th
b-grounded out for Samardzija in the 7th
c-flied out for Grabow in the 9th
Batting
2B - Kosuke Fukudome (8, Leake), Blake DeWitt (4, Leake)
SF - Starlin Castro (2), Carlos Pena (3)
RBI - Starlin Castro (26), Carlos Pena (27)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Castro-Barney-Pena, Ramirez-Soto-Pena
E - Aramis Ramirez (5, Misplayed grounder)
Chicago Cubs
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Matt Garza (L,2-5) 4644331 4.07
Jeff Samardzija 2333011 4.68
James Russell 1110100 5.66
John Grabow 1000010 3.75
HBP - Votto (by Jeff Samardzija), Gomes (by James Russell)
Pitches-Strikes - Matt Garza 81-51, Jeff Samardzija 35-25, James Russell 22-15, John Grabow 12-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Matt Garza 6-2, James Russell 2-1
Batters Faced - Matt Garza 20, Jeff Samardzija 10, James Russell 6, John Grabow 3
Cincinnati Reds
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Drew Stubbs, CF5112020 .262
Brandon Phillips, 2B5000002 .288
Joey Votto, 1B4110020 .336
Jay Bruce, RF4330001 .298
Jonny Gomes, LF3124000 .195
Miguel Cairo, 3B3100103 .281
Ryan Hanigan, C2120200 .254
Paul Janish, SS3000102 .225
Mike Leake, P4011012 .238
    Bill Bray, P0000000 .000
Totals33810745  
Batting
2B - Jay Bruce 2 (10, Garza, Samardzija)
HR - Drew Stubbs (9, Garza), Jonny Gomes (8, Samardzija)
RBI - Drew Stubbs 2 (27), Jonny Gomes 4 (24), Mike Leake (1)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Jay Bruce 1
DP - Cairo-B. Phillips-Votto
Cincinnati Reds
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Mike Leake (W,5-2) 81022130 4.63
Bill Bray 1000000 1.69
HBP - Barney (by Mike Leake)
Pitches-Strikes - Mike Leake 114-74, Bill Bray 19-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Mike Leake 11-8, Bill Bray 1-2
Batters Faced - Mike Leake 34, Bill Bray 3
Game Information
Attendance - 22568
Game Time - 2:57
Temperature - 87
Umpires - Home - Dana DeMuth, First Base - Paul Nauert, Second Base - Doug Eddings, Third Base - Victor Carapazza