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(Monday, June 23)
Final Score: Cincinnati 6, Chicago 1
Chicago, IL (SportsNetwork.com) - Billy Hamilton drove in the go-ahead run and Devin Mesoraco added a game-sealing grand slam in the ninth inning as the Cincinnati Reds downed the Chicago Cubs, 6-1, at Wrigley Field.
The Reds went hitless over five straight innings before Chris Heisey, who was mired in an 0-for-16 slump, stepped in as a pinch-hitter with two outs in the ninth and blooped a single to right.
Heisey stole second to get into scoring position, and Hamilton's dribbler up the middle snuck past a diving Starlin Castro to break a 1-1 tie.
A single and walk loaded the bases for Mesoraco, who cleared the netting over the wall in left-center for a clinching slam that sent the Reds over .500 (38-37) for the first time all season.
Todd Frazier went 3-for-5 with a run scored and an RBI, while Alfredo Simon was terrific in another quality start for Cincinnati, which has won three straight and six of its last eight.
Hector Rondon (1-2), who had given up seven earned runs in 27 appearances coming into the opener of this three-game series, surrendered all five runs in the ninth to take the loss, Chicago's third straight.
The Reds were poised for a big first inning when Hamilton led off with a double and scored on Frazier's triple to the right-field gap.
Jeff Samardzija kept the damage to just the one run, however, and wound up giving up only two more hits during his six-inning start.
"He settled down...and did a nice job," Cubs manager Rick Renteria said of his starter.
Simon worked out of several jams himself, first shaking off Darwin Barney's leadoff double in the third, then retiring three straight after the Cubs opened the fourth with a single and a double.
Anthony Rizzo, however, solved Cincinnati's starter in the sixth with an incredible display of power. Simon's hanging curveball was well outside the strike zone, and Rizzo reached out and muscled it the other way into the bleachers in left-center for his 16th home run of the season.
Simon went on to pitch seven innings, allowing just five hits with one walk.
"To do what he's done this year has been spectacular," Reds manager Bryan Price said of Simon.
Jonathan Broxton (3-0) hurled a perfect eighth to claim the victory
Mesoraco, who worked two walks and was hit by a pitch twice, has three career grand slams and has homered in four straight games ... All but two of Simon's 15 starts this year have been quality outings ... Samardzija struck out seven and walked two ... Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips sat out with a bruised left heel ... Cincinnati has won 18 of its last 20 at Wrigley Field.
06/24 00:53:18 ET
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