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WATCH: Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds slip past Chicago Cubs

Jul 2, 2021; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Alec Mills (30) throws a pitch against the Cincinnati Reds during the second inning at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 2, 2021; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Alec Mills (30) throws a pitch against the Cincinnati Reds during the second inning at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

Joey Votto’s two-out, two-run double erased a 1-0 deficit while Kyle Farmer, Jesse Winker and Eugenio Suarez made spectacular plays in the field as the Cincinnati Reds edged the visiting Chicago Cubs, 2-1, Friday night.

Left-hander Josh Osich (1-0) recorded the final out of the sixth inning to earn the win while Heath Hembree pitched the ninth for his second save for the Reds, who improved to 5-4 on their season-long 11-game homestand.

The struggling Cubs lost their seventh straight and 13th in 17 games while falling to 1-7 on their three-city, 10-game road trip.

The game was Cincinnati’s first full-capacity sellout at Great American Ball Park since 2019, as a vocal crowd of 40,854 turned out for the first game of the three-game weekend holiday series.

Early on, it was a pitchers’ duel as Sonny Gray, returning from a stint on the injured list due to a sore groin, battled right-hander Alec Mills (3-2), who held the Reds hitless until a Jonathan India two-out single in the third.

The game also featured the return of two of Chicago’s biggest bats, as Anthony Rizzo returned from a three-game absence due to back pain while Kris Bryant was back in the lineup after missing the final two games in Milwaukee with discomfort in his right side.

Bryant collected hits in his first two appearances Friday and scored from first on Jason Heyward’s double to right-center in the fourth off Gray, putting the Cubs up 1-0.

The Reds took the lead when they chased Mills from the game on a walk to India and a single by Nick Castellanos. Joey Votto, facing lefty reliever Adam Morgan, then doubled home both runners with two outs for a 2-1 Cincinnati lead.

Ian Happ singled to right off Hembree in the ninth with two outs, but pinch-hitter Rafael Ortega struck out to end the game.

–Field Level Media