Willson Contreras and rookie Christopher Morel each clubbed two-run homers, and Nico Hoerner had a two-run double, as the Chicago Cubs won 8-3 over the visiting Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday night.
Contreras had three hits on the night and Justin Steele (3-5) allowed a run over five-plus innings for the Cubs, who evened this three-game set with their third win in five games. Chicago also snapped a three-game skid to the Reds, who got two doubles with an RBI from Joey Votto and a late Brandon Drury homer.
The Cubs opened the scoring three batters into their half of the first. Contreras was hit by rookie Hunter Greene’s pitch, and scored on Ian Happ’s double. Chicago preserved that 1-0 lead in the fourth when Morel threw out Cincinnati’s Tommy Pham trying to score on a fly ball to center.
That double-play apparently sparked the Cubs in the bottom of the inning. Greene (3-9) issued back-to-back walks to Happ and Patrick Wisdom, who both scored on Hoerner’s double to left-center field.
Greene’s night ended after four innings, during which he allowed those doubles to Happ and Hoerner, the two walks and struck out five. He was relieved by Luis Cessa, who served up Contreras’ 13th homer — with a man on –into the left-center field bleachers for his 600th career hit and a 5-0 Cubs’ lead.
Steele, meanwhile, was in control until the sixth, when he gave up a hard single to Brandon Drury, a walk to Pham and Votto’s RBI double. Scott Effross entered, and didn’t allow any more damage, ending Steele’s outing, which also included six hits and three walks allowed, while fanning six.
In four June starts at home, Steele gave up five earned runs over 24 innings.
Morel, batting .182 with 22 strikeouts and no homers in his previous 10 games, went deep for the sixth time, well into the left-field bleachers with a man on in the sixth for his second hit of the game and a 7-1 Chicago lead.
–Field Level Media