Ian Happ continued to torment the Cincinnati Reds with a three-run homer and Franmil Reyes added a two-run shot to power the visiting Chicago Cubs to a 7-2 win Saturday night.
Happ, a baseball star at the University of Cincinnati, belted his 16th career home run at Great American Ball Park and his 25th lifetime homer against the Reds.
Willson Contreras added his 17th homer, as the Cubs won their third straight and their sixth in eight games.
Reliever Sean Newcomb (1-0) bailed out starter Adrian Sampson in the fifth inning and struck out five in two innings for his first win since June 8, 2021, with Atlanta.
Jake Fraley had three hits and scored Cincinnati’s only two runs as the Reds lost their fifth straight.
The Reds jumped out on top in the first when Fraley blooped a double down the left field line to open the inning. After Nick Senzel struck out, Kyle Farmer singled to center to score Fraley.
In the fourth, Chicago capitalized on a careless throwing error from shortstop Jose Barrero to take the lead. Barrero threw away a routine grounder off the bat of Seiya Suzuki before Reyes drove his 10th homer to right to put the Cubs on top 2-1.
The Reds had a great chance for a big inning in the fifth when the first three batters reached, while cutting the Chicago lead to 3-2 on Farmer’s second RBI single that scored Fraley.
Newcomb struck out the heart of the Cincinnati lineup in order, fanning Joey Votto, Donovan Solano and Matt Reynolds.
After walking Aristides Aquino to open the sixth, Newcomb fanned Barrero and Michael Papierski before walking Fraley. A wild pitch advanced the runners before Senzel grounded out to third to end the inning.
The Cubs finally knocked Cincinnati starter and loser Graham Ashcraft (5-3) out of the game in the seventh when Nick Madrigal worked a one-out walk. Contreras singled off reliever Ian Gibaut before Happ drove a breaking ball down near his ankles over the wall in right for his 10th homer and a 6-2 Chicago lead.
Votto played in his 1,988th career game, tying Hall of Famer Larry Walker for the all-time major league record for a Canadian-born player.
–Field Level Media