The Cubs came into the rubber match in Cincinnati looking for their first series win since taking two of three from the Diamondbacks at Wrigley nearly a month ago. Thanks to some early offense and quality relief work, they did just that.
Ian Happ kicked off the scoring with a solo home run against Tyler Mahle in the 1st inning. The Cubs really exploded in the top of the 2nd, highlighted by Michael Hermosillo‘s majestic two-run homer as part of a four-run frame.
Journeyman starter Adrian Sampson was pretty good in four innings as the starter, allowing just a solo dinger to Tyler Naquin. Sergio Alcántara added his own solo shot in the 6th inning to expand the lead to 6-1.
Why the Cubs Won
The Cubs jumped out to a big advantage early and never gave the Reds a chance to get back in the game.
Hermosillo’s homer put the Cubs up 3-0 and gave them some breathing room. For the current iteration of this team, a three-run lead is a real rarity.
Stats That Matter
- Sampson was solid in his spot start: 4 IP, 1 R, 5 H, 2 K, and 0 BB. Most of his outs were on the ground via the sinker.
- Duffy had three hits Wednesday including a double.
- Rafael Ortega had two hits and a walk and drove in a run in another very good game.
This might hurt the Cubs’ draft status but I kind of like it when they win a game or two. If there’s one fun aspect of the teardown, it’s that Chicago can play the role of spoiler and hurt teams like the Reds seeking a playoff spot. Let’s hope they do the same against the Cardinals.
The Cubs return home to take on the Kansas City Royals starting Friday at 1:20pm CT. Zach Davies will face a yet-to-be-announced Royals starter in a game airing on MLB Network (out of market only) and Marquee Sports Network with the radio feed on 670 The Score.