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Hamilton, Reds swipe 6 bases, steal win from Cubs

By GARY SCHATZ
Associated Press
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CINCINNATI (AP) The Cincinnati Reds came up with a game plan to steal a game from Jake Arrieta, and they ran with it.

Billy Hamilton stole his 51st base and the Reds swiped six in all, beating the Chicago Cubs 7-2 Thursday.

Zack Cozart and Todd Frazier each stole twice, and Kristopher Negron added one more. The last time the Reds stole at least six was 2006 against Washington.

The Reds had six steals in the first four innings, using six hits and four walks to build a 6-0 lead against Arrieta (7-5).

Cincinnati stole three in a three-run second inning and two in a three-run fourth. All six steals came at second base, with John Baker catching Arrieta.

''We knew it would be hard to score on Arrieta,'' Reds manager Bryan Price said. ''We wanted to create some opportunities by being aggressive. We did a good job, all the way through, not just the first time through the lineup.''

Dylan Axelrod (1-0) pitched five scoreless innings of two-hit ball and struck out eight.

''He had roughly 60 pitches in the first three innings,'' Price said. ''It looked like he would only make it through three but he made an in-game adjustment and made it through five.''

Axelrod was taking injured Homer Bailey's spot in the starting rotation and made his first start for the Reds since Aug. 16 in Colorado. Axelrod left that game with a lead, only to have the bullpen give it up.

A water main break in Denver caused a doubleheader that taxed the Reds' bullpen and Axelrod was sent to the minors in favor of bullpen help.

''It made sense,'' Axelrod said of that move. ''You have to take advantage of every opportunity up here. They took some tough two-strike pitches in the first two innings. I decided to attack with my fastball. The three run lead made it easier.

Cubs rookie Jorge Soler doubled and singled in his second major league game and drove in a run. He homered and singled in his debut on Wednesday.

Hamilton set the tone right away. He drew a leadoff walk in the first and stole second on the next pitch.

Hamilton went 2 for 2 with a double and walked twice. Dee Gordon of the Dodgers began the day leading the majors with 58 steals.

Negron and Cozart each stole and scored in the second. Cozart and Frazier both stole and scored in the fourth.

Cozart had three hits, including a double, and scored three times.

''I've been feeling better the last three weeks but I haven't always gotten the results,'' Cozart said. ''Now it's starting to show. We've been aggressive all year and not just with Billy. It makes it fun and creates opportunities when we run.''

Arrieta felt he could have done a better job against the Reds' running game.

''I was bad at holding the runners. That's my fault,'' Arrieta said. ''I wasn't giving Baker an opportunity to throw them out. That sets up the hits.''

''Frazier hit two good pitches, but the pitch to Phillips was out over the plate, and so was the one to Hamilton for the double. I've got to vary my times better at holding the ball. They were aggressive on the bases and at the plate. They were able to get good reads and good jumps.''

Reds relievers Pedro Villareal and Logan Ondrusek combined for three perfect innings. The Cubs scored two runs off Jumbo Diaz in the ninth.

WHIFF

Jay Bruce struck out five times. He is the seventh Reds player to strike out five times in a game and the second to do it in nine innings. Adam Dunn also struck out five times in nine innings in 2002.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Cubs: 1B Anthony Rizzo was out of the lineup for the second straight day with tightness in his lower back. Manager Rick Renteria hopes to have him back for the upcoming series in St. Louis.

Reds: Bailey (right elbow) and 1B Joey Votto (left knee) are progressing at a slow rate. The Reds plan to call up seven to nine players on Monday when rosters expand to 40, according to manager Bryan Price.

UP NEXT

Cubs: Kyle Hendricks (5-1) will open the four-game series in St. Louis on Friday. He had a rain-shortened, two-inning start Aug. 23 against Baltimore.

Reds: Mike Leake (10-11) will begin the opener of a three-game series in Pittsburgh on Friday. Leake is 5-0 in 11 starts against Pittsburgh since a 3-2 loss on May 5, 2012.

DH PLANS

Cubs LHP Felix Doubront will come off the DL to start the opener of Saturday's doubleheader in St. Louis. LHP Tsuyoshi Wada will start the second game.

YOUNG CUBS

The Cubs started four players who were 24 or younger: Veteran Starlin Castro (24), who made his debut at 20, Javier Baez (21), Jorge Soler (22) and Arismendy Alcantara (22) were in the starting lineup. Billy Hamilton was the youngest Reds' starter at 23.

 
Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
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Players of the Game
Cincinnati

Z. Cozart
AB 4
R 3
H 3
HR 0
RBI 1
Cincinnati

B. Hamilton
AB 2
R 2
H 2
HR 0
RBI 2
 

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Chicago (N.L.) Cubs
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLG
Chris Coghlan, LF2000120.269.342.438
   Wesley Wright, P0000000.000.000.000
   Zac Rosscup, P0000000.000.000.000
   a-Logan Watkins, PH1000000.333.333.417
   Kyuji Fujikawa, P0000000.000.000.000
Javier Baez, 2B4000021.189.222.442
Starlin Castro, SS4120001.287.335.429
Luis Valbuena, 3B4110012.242.322.426
Jorge Soler, RF4021020.500.5001.000
Arismendy Alcantara, CF2001111.226.284.367
Chris Valaika, 1B4000013.184.212.265
John Baker, C2000111.203.282.247
Jake Arrieta, P1000002.156.182.188
   b-Travis Wood, PH1000010.250.291.462
   Matt Szczur, LF1000000.188.235.188
Totals30252311    
a-grounded out for Rosscup in the 8th
b-struck out for Arrieta in the 5th
Batting
2B - Jorge Soler (1, Axelrod)
SF - Arismendy Alcantara (2)
RBI - Jorge Soler (3), Arismendy Alcantara (17)
SB - Javier Baez (1, 2nd base off Axelrod/Mesoraco)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
E - Arismendy Alcantara (4, Misplayed grounder), Javier Baez (5, Missed catch of throw)
Chicago (N.L.) Cubs
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Jake Arrieta (L,7-5) 4666480 2.88
Wesley Wright 2210130 2.32
Zac Rosscup 1100000 6.48
Kyuji Fujikawa 1200020 1.23
Pitches-Strikes - Jake Arrieta 96-60, Wesley Wright 34-23, Zac Rosscup 14-11, Kyuji Fujikawa 22-16
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jake Arrieta 2-2, Wesley Wright 2-2, Zac Rosscup 1-2, Kyuji Fujikawa 1-0
Batters Faced - Jake Arrieta 22, Wesley Wright 10, Zac Rosscup 4, Kyuji Fujikawa 5
Cincinnati Reds
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLG
Billy Hamilton, CF2222200.267.302.385
   a-Chris Heisey, PH-CF1000010.225.273.370
Todd Frazier, 1B4122011.280.342.456
   b-Jack Hannahan, PH-1B1000000.120.154.160
Brandon Phillips, 2B4012004.265.303.378
   c-Ramon Santiago, PH-2B1010000.248.345.310
Devin Mesoraco, C3010211.278.358.535
Jay Bruce, RF5000057.218.294.373
Kris Negron, 3B3110110.275.327.484
Skip Schumaker, LF4000012.236.286.313
Zack Cozart, SS4331001.231.278.308
Dylan Axelrod, P2000022.000.000.000
   Pedro Villarreal, P1000011.500.500.500
   d-Ryan Ludwick, PH1000001.246.306.385
   Logan Ondrusek, P0000000.000.000.000
   Jumbo Diaz, P0000000.000.000.000
Totals367117513    
a-struck out for Hamilton in the 8th
b-grounded out for Frazier in the 8th
c-singled for B. Phillips in the 8th
d-lined out for Villarreal in the 7th
Batting
2B - Billy Hamilton (25, Arrieta), Brandon Phillips (21, Arrieta), Kris Negron (5, Rosscup), Zack Cozart (17, Wright)
RBI - Billy Hamilton 2 (46), Todd Frazier 2 (69), Brandon Phillips 2 (44), Zack Cozart (35)
2-OUT RBI - Billy Hamilton (16), Todd Frazier 2 (23), Brandon Phillips 2 (15)
SB - Billy Hamilton (51, 2nd base off Arrieta/Baker), Todd Frazier 2 (19, 2nd base off Arrieta/Baker, 2nd base off Arrieta/Baker), Kris Negron (3, 2nd base off Arrieta/Baker), Zack Cozart 2 (6, 2nd base off Arrieta/Baker, 2nd base off Arrieta/Baker)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
DP - Santiago-Cozart-Hannahan
Cincinnati Reds
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Dylan Axelrod (W,1-0) 5200380 1.64
Pedro Villarreal 2000020 4.15
Logan Ondrusek 1000010 4.38
Jumbo Diaz 1322000 3.38
IBB - Baker by Dylan Axelrod
Pitches-Strikes - Dylan Axelrod 100-61, Pedro Villarreal 22-18, Logan Ondrusek 8-6, Jumbo Diaz 21-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Dylan Axelrod 2-5, Pedro Villarreal 2-2, Logan Ondrusek 2-0, Jumbo Diaz 1-1
Batters Faced - Dylan Axelrod 20, Pedro Villarreal 6, Logan Ondrusek 3, Jumbo Diaz 5
Game Information
Attendance - 21316
Game Time - 3:14
Temperature - 77
Umpires - Home - Ben May, First Base - Mike Everitt, Second Base - Bill Miller, Third Base - Chad Fairchild