Cincinnati at Chicago

W: J. Lester (2-2) L: A. Garrett (3-3) S: K. Uehara (1)
HR: CIN - None   CHC - J. Baez (6),K. Bryant (8)

Baez hits grand slam, Bryant homers as Cubs beat Reds 9-5


CHICAGO (AP) The Cubs are starting to show the pop that helped propel them to their first championship in 108 years.

For that, manager Joe Maddon credited their starting pitching.

Javier Baez hit a grand slam, Kris Bryant homered and the Cubs beat the Cincinnati Reds 9-5 Thursday to complete a three-game sweep.

''Starting pitching drives the engine,'' Maddon said. ''I will never be deceived by that thought. While that's happening, you have a chance to hit better just by keeping the other team down. Guys get a chance to get in the flow and do their thing.''

Chicago outscored Cincinnati 25-15 in the series after struggling at the plate for much of this season. The Cubs have 23 wins in their last 28 games against the Reds.

Baez came through with three hits and a season-high five RBIs. He got the rout going when he capped a five-run first inning against Amir Garrett (3-3) with his third career slam .

Bryant hit his eighth homer this season in the fourth, a long solo drive to center , and the Cubs scored three in the fifth to take a 9-0 lead.

Jon Lester (2-2) followed up solid starts from John Lackey and Kyle Hendricks by allowing three runs and six hits in six-plus innings. He improved to 11-0 in his last 15 regular-season home starts. Lester left with a 9-1 lead after giving up singles to Jose Peraza, Tucker Barnhart and Arismendy Alcantara in the seventh.

''We're trending in the right direction, which is good,'' Lester said.

Cincinnati has lost six straight, its longest skid since dropping 11 in a row last May. Recalled from Triple-A Louisville, Garrett gave up six runs and five hits in four innings. He walked four - three in the first inning.

''We didn't throw strikes here,'' manager Bryan Price said. ''This was not a series where we did what we're capable of doing as a staff. We didn't throw enough strikes and it exacerbates a problem.''

Chicago's Koji Uehara got his first save this season after he entered with the bases loaded and no outs in the ninth. He retired Adam Duvall on a sacrifice fly , then struck out Eugenio Suarez and Stuart Turner, both on three pitches.


Even after viewing video and still photos from Major League Baseball, Price still was not convinced Votto should have been ruled out at first on a replay review that ended Wednesday's 7-5 loss.

''I think if we're going to make this as good of a system as possible, you have to able to give the team that's on the wrong side of that call the clarity that allows us to go, `Hey, they got the call right. We'll live with that,''' Price said.

With two out in the ninth on Wednesday, Votto hit a grounder up the middle that shortstop Addison Russell fielded on the other side of second base. Anthony Rizzo had to stretch as far as he could go to bring in the throw. Votto was ruled safe by first base umpire Ed Hickox, but the Cubs challenged the call - and won.


RHP Barrett Astin was optioned to Louisville.


Reds: C Devin Mesoraco (tight hamstring) was out of the lineup for the third straight game and might be headed to the disabled list. ''We haven't gotten to that point yet,'' Price said. ''There's been improvement each day. But it's a hamstring. It's not the same as an oblique, but I think it can be as easily exacerbated.'' Mesoraco was limited to a combined 39 games in 2015 and 2016 because of injuries to both hips and his left shoulder.

Cubs: OF Jason Heyward (sore knuckle on his right hand) was scheduled to begin a rehab assignment with Class A South Bend on Thursday.


Reds: After going the distance in his first big league start since 2014, RHP Lisalverto Bonilla (0-1, 4.85 ERA) is slated to be on the mound when the Reds open a five-game homestand against Colorado and LHP Tyler Anderson (2-4, 6.43) on Friday. Bonilla pitched a six-hitter for his first big league complete game, a 3-1 loss to San Francisco on Saturday.

Cubs: RHP Eddie Butler (1-0, 0.00) makes his second start of the season as the Cubs open a weekend series against Milwaukee. Butler pitched two-hit ball over six scoreless innings at St. Louis on Friday for his first win since May 14 last year with Colorado.

Copyright 2017 by Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

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Players of the Game

J. Lester
IP 6.0
H 6
ER 3
BB 1
K 5

J. Baez
AB 3
R 2
H 3
HR 1

Related Video

Cincinnati Reds
Billy Hamilton, CF5221001.261.309.352
Zack Cozart, SS5021010.352.435.600
Joey Votto, 1B3010112.292.410.590
Adam Duvall, LF4012001.260.305.513
Eugenio Suarez, 3B5020034.290.364.510
Scott Schebler, RF3000013.236.314.500
   Robert Stephenson, P0000000.333.333.333
   a-Scooter Gennett, PH1000002.284.312.514
   Michael Lorenzen, P0000000.200.200.800
   Drew Storen, P0000000.000.000.000
   b-Stuart Turner, PH1000012.154.179.269
Jose Peraza, 2B4110001.250.283.309
Tucker Barnhart, C4110021.269.320.376
Amir Garrett, P1000000.000.000.000
   c-Patrick Kivlehan, PH1000001.256.326.359
   Blake Wood, P0000000.000.000.000
   Arismendy Alcantara, RF2111000.314.333.429
a-flied out for Stephenson in the 7th
b-struck out for Storen in the 9th
c-hit into fielder's choice for Garrett in the 5th
2B - Billy Hamilton (4, Rondon), Joey Votto (10, Lester), Eugenio Suarez (9, Lester)
SF - Adam Duvall (3)
RBI - Billy Hamilton (14), Zack Cozart (18), Adam Duvall 2 (29), Arismendy Alcantara (2)
2-OUT RBI - Adam Duvall (10)
Team LOB - 10
DP - Cozart-Peraza-Votto, Cozart-Peraza-Votto-Cozart-Votto, Cozart-Peraza-Votto-Cozart-Votto-Suarez-Votto
E - Zack Cozart (4, Misplayed grounder), Eugenio Suarez (2, Misplayed grounder)
Cincinnati Reds
Amir Garrett (L,3-3) 4566452 5.18
Blake Wood 1231200 4.34
Robert Stephenson 1000110 6.86
Michael Lorenzen 1100110 3.63
Drew Storen 1100100 1.93
IBB - Baez by Amir Garrett
Pitches-Strikes - Amir Garrett 80-55, Blake Wood 29-17, Robert Stephenson 13-8, Michael Lorenzen 19-9, Drew Storen 15-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Amir Garrett 3-4, Blake Wood 2-2, Robert Stephenson 1-0, Michael Lorenzen 2-0, Drew Storen 1-1
Batters Faced - Amir Garrett 21, Blake Wood 8, Robert Stephenson 3, Michael Lorenzen 5, Drew Storen 4
Chicago (N.L.) Cubs
Ben Zobrist, RF4021010.244.348.387
   Jon Jay, RF1000001.292.400.361
Kris Bryant, 3B4211113.297.403.554
Anthony Rizzo, 1B3110211.224.362.401
Ian Happ, LF4120113.353.500.824
Willson Contreras, C4100103.228.296.395
Addison Russell, SS3201122.215.285.354
Javier Baez, 2B3235100.248.288.470
Jon Lester, P2001002.111.150.167
   Hector Rondon, P0000000.000.000.000
   a-Tommy La Stella, PH0000100.318.483.545
   Brian Duensing, P0000000.000.000.000
   Koji Uehara, P0000000.000.000.000
Albert Almora Jr., CF3000110.261.323.386
a-walked for Rondon in the 7th
2B - Ian Happ (2, Garrett)
HR - Kris Bryant (8, Garrett), Javier Baez (6, Garrett)
SF - Jon Lester (1)
RBI - Ben Zobrist (14), Kris Bryant (20), Addison Russell (18), Javier Baez 5 (19), Jon Lester (3)
2-OUT RBI - Ben Zobrist (7), Kris Bryant (4), Addison Russell (6), Javier Baez 4 (8)
Team LOB - 8
E - Javier Baez (6, Misplayed grounder), Kris Bryant (6, Throwing)
PB - Willson Contreras (1)
Chicago (N.L.) Cubs
Jon Lester (W,2-2) 6633150 3.57
Hector Rondon 1311010 3.52
Brian Duensing 1211010 4.24
Koji Uehara (S,1) 1000020 3.45
HBP - Votto (by Brian Duensing)
Pitches-Strikes - Jon Lester 96-63, Hector Rondon 22-15, Brian Duensing 27-15, Koji Uehara 10-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jon Lester 10-5, Hector Rondon 1-1, Brian Duensing 2-0
Batters Faced - Jon Lester 27, Hector Rondon 6, Brian Duensing 6, Koji Uehara 3
Game Information
Attendance - 36023
Game Time - 3:03
Temperature - 77
Umpires - Home - Ed Hickox, First Base - Jerry Meals, Second Base - Tom Woodring, Third Base - Ron Kulpa