Cincinnati Reds Blow Out Cubs with Big Ninth Inning, 13-6


13. 61. 6. 9.

W: Ryan Mattheus (2-4)

L: Justin Grimm (2-4)

SV: Aroldis Chapman (26)

All or nothing seems to be the way of life for the Cincinnati Reds’ offense these days. Monday night’s game against the Chicago Cubs would most certainly fall under the “all” category.

In their last five games, the Reds have scored 26 runs, 25 of those coming in two games — 12 against the Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday and 13 against the Cubs on Monday.

The game had it all, including pitching meltdowns on both sides, a dramatic go-ahead home run by a player making his first appearance with a new team and a win going to a reliever who threw only one pitch without retiring the batter he faced. Despite all that, the biggest story of the game might’ve been Aroldis Chapman. But we’ll get to that later.

The Cubs jumped on the board first, via a solo home run from Dexter Fowler in the third inning. The Reds would answer their next time up, as Ivan De Jesus Jr. brought home Joey Votto on a two-out single up the middle. Brandon Phillips would add two more in the fifth to give Michael Lorenzen a 3-1 lead in his first start back in the big leagues, but the rookie wasn’t able to hold on to it.

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Lorenzen pitched through four innings without many problems outside of the Fowler home run, but the Cubs touched him up for four runs in the fifth to knock him from the game. He was charged with five earned runs on six hits and a walk in 4.2 innings, but did strike out five.

Although they saw their lead evaporate in the blink of an eye, the Reds’ offense didn’t pack it in and head back to their hotel. The very next inning, Eugenio Suarez hit a two-run, opposite-field home run to tie the game at five and Adam Duvall gave the Reds a 7-5 lead by hitting a pinch-hit, two-run bomb of his own in his first ever at-bat with the team.

The lead was in danger of slipping away when J.J. Hoover put two runners on with one out in the eighth, but that’s when manager Bryan Price made a move he’d refused to make all year long by bringing in Aroldis Chapman for a multi-inning save. Chapman got out of the inning and pitched the ninth, but not without a long break (and a long sprint) in between.

Two errors from Cubs second baseman Starlin Castro helped the Reds play add-on in the ninth. Former Red Travis Wood loaded the bases with three walks before turning things over to James Russell with two outs. It seemed like Russell would get out of the inning and keep the Reds’ lead at 7-5, but Castro booted a ground ball to score a run.

Tucker Barnhart plated two more with a single, which brought Chapman to the plate for his second career plate appearance. Chapman struck out the first time he handled the bat as a professional, but was able to put the ball in play this time around. Not only did he do that, but he reached base as Castro committed his second error of the inning, bringing home another run in the process. Chapman would then score all the way from first when Jason Bourgeois hit a double down the left field line.

Addison Russell would hit a solo home run off of Chapman in the ninth, but he was able to get through the inning to complete a five-out save in a 13-6 Reds win. Baseball is weird (and awesome).

Other Notes:

  • Ryan Mattheus was credited with the win despite throwing one pitch. He allowed an infield single to score an inherited run in the fifth inning, but escaped the jam when Anthony Rizzo was thrown out at third base.
  • Duvall’s pinch-hit homer was the Reds’ second of the year. Bourgeois hit the first against the San Diego Padres back on Aug. 11.
  • Speaking of Bourgeois, he had a great night at the plate with three hits. He wasn’t the only Red two reach three times, however, as Barnhart singled three times, Votto singled and walked three times, and De Jesus added two walks to his RBI single in the fourth.
  • Collin Balester and Burke Badenhop each threw a scoreless inning in relief.

Up Next: Anthony DeSclafani will toe the rubber for the Reds in game two on Tuesday as they look to take their first series win since July. Dan Haren will start for the Cubs. First pitch is set for 8:05 p.m. ET.

Next: Reds vs. Cubs series preview