Javier Baez delivered a game-ending, pinch-hit single against Amir Garrett and Anthony Rizzo and Willson Contreras homered as the host Chicago Cubs rallied to defeat the Cincinnati Reds 6-5 on Monday night.
Out of the starting lineup as he rested a sore left heel, Baez hit Garrett’s first pitch near the warning track in center field. Garrett entered after Heath Hembree (2-5) loaded the bases on two walks and a hit batsman.
A missed opportunity in the previous inning doomed the Reds, as Cubs reliever Keegan Thompson pitched out of a bases-loaded, no-outs jam in the eighth to keep the Chicago deficit at 5-4.
Contreras’ solo home run in the bottom half of the inning then tied the game.
Joey Votto homered for the third straight game and drove in three runs, and Kyle Farmer also went deep for the Reds, who took a 5-3 lead after 4 1/2 innings.
Jesse Winker had three hits for the Reds, while Jonathan India and Farmer added two apiece.
Rizzo put the Cubs ahead 2-0, hitting a two-run shot in the first inning off Cincinnati starter Wade Miley. Rizzo has homered in back-to-back games. Kris Bryant, Nico Hoerner, Jake Marisnick and Rizzo each had two hits for Chicago.
Both starting pitchers worked 4 1/3 innings, with the Cubs’ Kyle Hendricks allowing five runs on nine hits with two walks and four strikeouts. Hendricks had worked at least six innings in 13 straight starts entering Monday.
Miley scattered three runs and seven hits with five walks and two strikeouts.
Craig Kimbrel improved to 2-3, allowing one hit and one walk while striking out three in a scoreless ninth.
The Reds stranded 10 while going 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position. The Cubs left 14 men on base and were 4-for-13 with runners in scoring position.
Cubs manager David Ross said before the game that Baez was day-to-day as he contends with the ailment, which surfaced Monday morning after Baez tweaked the heel running the bases in the eighth inning of Sunday’s win against Arizona.
–Field Level Media