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Reds in a groove against Cubs, go for third straight win

Sportsnaut
Jun 28, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Cincinnati Reds second baseman Jonathan India (6) celebrates with right fielder Albert Almora Jr. (3) and center fielder Nick Senzel (15) after hitting a three-run home run against the Chicago Cubs during the seventh inning at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Reds regrouped nicely following an extended June losing streak. They’ve also been pretty solid of late against the Chicago Cubs.

Looking to match a season-high three-game road winning streak, the Reds try for a fourth consecutive win over the host Cubs on Wednesday night.

Last in the NL Central, Cincinnati dropped seven straight from June 15-23. However, the Reds followed by taking two of three at San Francisco over the weekend and won 5-3 at Chicago on Tuesday.

Cincinnati has combined for 27 hits in the last two games. Four Reds had at least two hits Tuesday, highlighted by three from catcher Aramis Garcia and two from Jonathan India, including a three-run homer.

“It’s dangerous when everyone in the lineup is contributing like that,” Cincinnati’s Nick Senzel said.

Senzel is 9-for-16 in his last five games.

The Reds are batting .364 with 12 extra-base hits during a three-game winning streak over Chicago. Cincinnati’s Brandon Drury had two hits with an RBI on Monday and is 11-for-30 during a seven-game hitting streak.

Cincinnati starter Hunter Greene (3-8, 5.66 ERA) looks to get back on track. He allowed 10 runs, 13 hits — with five homers — over 10 innings in his last two starts versus Milwaukee and the Los Angeles Dodgers. In two starts prior to those, the hard-throwing rookie right-hander yielded one run and three hits over 12 innings.

Entering Wednesday, Greene’s 20 home runs allowed were the most in the majors.

“I’ve gone through some moments so far that I’ve learned from,” Greene said. “And, I’ll continue to do that throughout this season, and for the rest of my career.”

Though Greene earned the win in Cincinnati’s 20-5 home rout of the Cubs on May 26, he allowed five runs and seven hits while striking out six in five innings. He also gave up solo homers to Willson Contreras, Ian Happ and Nico Hoerner.

Meanwhile, scheduled Cubs starter Justin Steele (2-5, 4.59 ERA) yielded a career-high seven runs with seven hits in just two innings during that blowout defeat versus Cincinnati last month.

The left-hander went 1-0 with a 2.63 ERA in his next four starts. Then he allowed six runs — five earned — and seven hits while striking out eight through 5 2/3 innings of an 8-7, 10-inning loss at Pittsburgh on Thursday.

The Cubs have two more wins than Cincinnati and were trying to build on taking two of three at St. Louis over the weekend.

Steele and Hoerner could be building blocks for the Cubs.

With three hits Tuesday, Hoerner has recorded five-straight multi-hit games, and is 13-for-23 in his last six contests.

“At this stage for us, it’s about building up a group of young players, and then build around them,” Cubs president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer said during a question-and-answer session with season-ticket holders this week.

–Field Level Media