CHICAGO (AP)Joc Pederson, Ian Happ and Eric Sogard each drove in two runs, and the Chicago Cubs beat the Cincinnati Reds 10-2 on Saturday for their season-high sixth consecutive victory.
Rafael Ortega homered and Kris Bryant had a run-scoring single for Chicago, which improved to 18-7 this month. It’s the most wins for the team in May since it went 18-10 in 2016.
The 13-hit attack for the Cubs helped the team overcome the loss of David Bote, who separated his left shoulder on a slide into second in the fourth. Manager David Ross said Bote will get some tests done in the next couple days.
Chicago already was without position players Anthony Rizzo, Jason Heyward, Nico Hoerner, Matt Duffy and Jake Marisnick due to injuries. But it still moved a season-high seven games over .500 at 29-22.
”Unfortunately we have had some injuries, but we have guys stepping up, guys ready, who come in and fill the job,” Sogard said. ”That’s why we’re continuing to win.”
Cincinnati right-hander Luis Castillo (1-8) pitched five-plus innings of four-run ball in his seventh straight loss. Castillo, who started on opening day, became the first pitcher to drop seven consecutive decisions or starts for the Reds since Homer Bailey lost seven straight starts in 2018.
”I’m not frustrated. I can’t be,” Castillo said through a translator. ”Yeah, it’s just another bad day, but I know that everything will change here soon.”
The game was tied at 2 before Chicago pushed across four runs in the sixth, helped by four walks. Sogard reached on a bases-loaded walk against Amir Garrett before Pederson’s two-run single lifted the Cubs to a 5-2 lead. Bryant added an RBI single, extending his hitting streak to 11 games.
”That inning, that was the game,” Reds manager David Bell said.
Ortega went deep in the seventh, reaching the basket in right on a windy, cool day at Wrigley Field. It was Ortega’s first homer since Sept. 29, 2019, for Atlanta.
”I think that the first thing that I thought of once I hit that home run and was rounding the bases was, wow, hitting a home run here at Wrigley Field in front of those fans, it was just really exciting,” Ortega said through a translator.
Nick Castellanos doubled in the eighth, extending his hitting streak to 15 games, but Cincinnati finished with just five hits in its third loss in four games. It dropped to 10-15 in May.
Chicago jumped in front with two unearned runs in the second, taking advantage of some shaky defense by Cincinnati, and Zach Davies pitched shutout ball into the sixth. But Davies departed after Eugenio Suarez’s leadoff walk, and the Reds capitalized.
Two more walks loaded the bases for Tyler Stephenson, who lined a tying two-run double into right field.
Before Stephenson’s hit against Keegan Thompson (3-1), the Cubs bullpen had gone a franchise-record 38 1/3 innings without allowing an earned run.
Reds: INF/OF Nick Senzel had his left knee cleaned out by Dr. Timothy Kremchek during an operation on Friday. There is no timetable for his return. ”Nothing that happened in the surgery will change the fact that he has every intention of being back as soon as possible and play a lot of the year,” Bell said. … INF Mike Moustakas (right heel) is still running in water, but ”the mobility, everything’s like coming back to him,” Bell said. … With Jeff Hoffman (right shoulder) on the 10-day injured list, Bell said RHP Vladimir Gutierrez will make another start Wednesday against Philadelphia. Gutierrez pitched five innings of one-run ball in his major league debut Friday.
Cubs: Rizzo (back tightness) was out of the lineup for the fourth consecutive game. … Heyward (left hamstring strain) ran the bases before the game. … RHP Alec Mills (low back strain) pitched four innings of two-run ball in his second rehab start with Triple-A Iowa on Friday. Ross said he’ll make another rehab start in five days.
Jake Arrieta (5-4, 4.37 ERA) starts for the Cubs in Sunday’s series finale. The right-hander is 7-3 with a 3.80 ERA in 11 career starts against Cincinnati. Tyler Mahle (3-2, 3.75 ERA) pitches for the Reds. Mahle worked 5 1/3 scoreless innings in a 2-1 victory at Washington on Tuesday.
Jay Cohen can be reached at https://twitter.com/jcohenap
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