Cubs use Reds as Saturday slump busters
Chicago, IL (SportsNetwork.com) - Welington Castillo, Darwin Barney and Mike Olt all homered as the Chicago Cubs broke out of a scoring slump in an 8-4 victory over the Cincinnati Reds at Wrigley Field.
Castillo had a two-run homer among his two hits, Barney also belted a two-run shot and Olt added a solo blast to help the Cubs halt a five-game losing streak. Chicago had mustered a mere one run total over its last three defeats.
Emilio Bonifacio contributed three hits and scored twice, while Justin Ruggiano went 2-for-3 with an RBI single in the win, only the Cubs' second in their last 18 matchups with the Reds at Wrigley Field.
The surge enabled Edwin Jackson (1-1) to pick up his first win of the season after he allowed two runs while scattering eight hits over 5 2/3 innings.
"I felt like I was able to throw all my pitches for strikes," said Jackson. "I was able to mix it up well. Great defense behind me definitely helped."
Jay Bruce and Billy Hamilton both had three hits for Cincinnati, which took Friday's opener of this three-game set and had won three straight overall. Devin Mesoraco ended 2-for-4 with an RBI double in the setback.
Tony Cingrani (1-2) was dealt the loss after permitting three runs in five innings.
"They laid off some tough pitches," said Reds manager Bryan Price. "He just wasn't the same guy we've seen here most of the time in Cincinnati, just kind of sporadic with his location."
Chicago got its slumping offense untracked in a hurry, scoring once in each of the first three innings to provide Jackson with a nice early cushion.
Bonifacio greeted Cingrani with a single and moved to second on a walk before coming around on a Ruggiano base hit to send Chicago ahead. Olt made it a two- run lead in the second by launching a first-pitch fastball inside the foul pole in left.
Cingrani then loaded the bases in the third by issuing two walks following another Bonifacio single, leading to Chicago's third run that was created by Starlin Castro's fielder's choice grounder.
Jackson, meanwhile, kept the Reds scoreless until the sixth by working out of several jams, stranding a total of six runners over that stretch. Singles by Bruce and Chris Heisey, however, that were followed by a Mesoraco double got Cincinnati on the board, with Heisey crossing the plate on a Zack Cosart grounder to cut the deficit to 3-2.
The light-hitting Barney gave the Cubs some distance in the bottom of the frame, though, by homering off Logan Ondrusek with Castillo aboard. Junior Lake plated Ryan Kalish with an RBI single later in the sixth to extend the margin to 6-2.
Cincinnati again closed the gap with a pair of runs off reliever Hector Rondon in the seventh, as singles by Hamilton, Joey Votto and Bruce trimmed the lead to 6-3 prior to Olt's throwing error on a Heisey grounder bringing in another run.
The Cubs answered once more in their half of the inning, however, on Castillo's two-run blast to left against Nick Christiani.
Cincinnati left eight men on base and went 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position ... Rondon had a streak of 17 straight scoreless innings snapped that dated back to Sept. 3 of last season ... Jackson's last win came against the Reds in Cincinnati on Sept. 10 ... Mesoraco batting .483 (14-of-29) with 10 RBI over an eight-game hitting streak since coming off the disabled list ... The Reds activated reliever Sean Marshall from the 15-day DL (shoulder) prior to the game.
04/19 22:19:54 ET