Aristides Aquino bombed a three-run homer and Alexis Diaz pitched out of eighth- and ninth-inning jams Sunday afternoon, helping the Cincinnati Reds salvage one win in their three-game series against the visiting Chicago Cubs with an 8-5 victory.
A series that began without a home run at the hitter-friendly Field of Dreams park in Iowa concluded with four, including three by the Cubs.
Aquino help ignite the power display with his fourth homer of the season in the second inning off Cubs starter Keegan Thompson. The blast to left field followed walks to Donovan Solano and Albert Almora Jr. and erased a 2-0 deficit.
The Cubs’ Patrick Wisdom hit a two-run shot, his 21st of the season, in the top of the second off Reds starter Justin Dunn.
Yan Gomes and Christopher Morel went back-to-back off Dunn in the fourth, the latter giving Chicago its last lead at 5-4. The homers were No. 6 for Gomes and No. 11 for Morel.
They also prompted the removal of Dunn, who was charged with five runs on seven hits in 3 2/3 innings. He walked two and struck out four.
The Reds tied the score on Alejo Lopez’s infield out in the last of the fourth, then took the lead for good against the Chicago bullpen in the fifth.
Jose Barrero’s two-out single scored Solano with the go-ahead run, and Austin Romine’s double to right-center sent Almora and Barrero home and opened an 8-5 lead.
Anderson Espinoza (0-2), the second Cubs pitcher, took the loss.
Reds relievers Reiver Sanmartin, Joel Kuhnel (2-1), Buck Farmer, Hunter Strickland and Diaz shut out the Cubs on five hits and three walks over the final 5 1/3 innings.
Diaz came on for Strickland with one out and the bases loaded in the eighth and struck out both Nelson Velazquez and Ian Happ, each of whom represented the go-ahead run.
The Cubs brought the potential tying run to the plate twice in the ninth after an error and a one-out single by Nico Hoerner. But Diaz got Wisdom to fly out before striking out Zach McKinstry to nail down his fifth save.
Solano, Barrero, Lopez, Romine, Jake Fraley and Kyle Farmer had two hits apiece for the Reds, who snapped a five-game losing streak. Solano and Almora scored twice each.
Hoerner collected three hits, including two doubles, while Wisdom and McKinstry had two each for the Cubs, who were out-hit 13-12 while seeing their three-game winning streak come to an end. Gomes and Wisdom had two RBIs apiece.
–Field Level Media