Backyard BBQ: Host Cubs rout Reds on 4th

July 4th, 2016

CHICAGO -- After being swept by the Mets in New York, all the Cubs needed to snap a four-game losing streak was a little home cooking and a game against the Reds.

Kris Bryant belted his National League-leading 24th home run, Addison Russell drove in three runs, including a pair on his ninth homer, and rookie Willson Contreras added a solo shot to power the Cubs to a 10-4 victory on Monday over the Reds at Wrigley Field.

"We had a tough stay in New York City, and [the Mets] played really well against us, and we came out today and got our offense going," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said.

There was a scary moment in the fifth, when Bryant and center fielder Albert Almora Jr. collided in left-center. Both stayed in the game to finish the inning, but Bryant was lifted because of a bruise on his left leg.

Bryant, who made Major League history one week ago at Great American Ball Park when he hit three home runs and two doubles, clubbed a two-run homer in the second to give him eight homers and 20 RBIs against the Reds this season. He walked twice and scored three runs in the game, and he leads the NL in runs scored with 67.

Bryant OK after outfield collision with Almora

Maddon said Bryant would've stayed in the game if it had been closer, and that he is expected back in the lineup on Tuesday.

"It was my fault -- I take full responsibility for that," Almora said. "I can't hear anything, and I don't want to see a ball drop out there. I called it at the end, but it was too late."

Kyle Hendricks picked up the win, while Cody Reed took the loss. Reed was tagged for six runs on four hits in the first two innings, as Cincinnati lost for the 11th time in the last 13 games. The Cubs entered the game averaging 8.70 runs per game against the Reds this season, and improved to 10-1 against them.

Cubs hold unheralded Hendricks in high esteem

"The teams that are beating up on us aren't beating up on us because we're throwing a bunch of strikes and not making egregious mistakes in the strike zone. We are," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "We're walking people, we're hitting people, and we've given up a lot of home runs."


Right place, right time:
 Jason Heyward was dropped to sixth in the batting order for the first time this season, and it paid off in the first. The Cubs had two on and two outs when Russell hit an RBI single and Heyward followed with a two-run double. Russell said he enjoyed moving up to the fifth spot, and his three RBIs tied a career high.

"I felt pretty comfortable today, and it was the most comfortable I've felt all year," Russell said.

Sloppy Reds defense: While Reed was hit hard and endured command issues, the defense behind him didn't help in some key spots. With one out in the second inning, second baseman Brandon Phillips booted a routine grounder from Javier Baez for his 10th error of the season to set up Bryant's homer. Phillips had eight errors combined over his previous two seasons. In the fourth inning, third baseman Eugenio Suarez let Russell's routine ground ball go between his legs for a two-run error that made it an 8-0 game. Suarez's 14th error of 2016 moved him into a tie for the Major League lead.

"They just made mistakes. They just made physical errors," Price said.

Mr. Handyman: The Cubs called on pitcher Travis Wood to pinch-hit in the sixth, and he singled. The lefty then stayed in the game to pitch in the seventh and retired the first two batters before giving up a single to Ivan De Jesus Jr.Zack Cozart followed with his 12th home run, and Suarez smacked his 15th, but Wood was able to strike out Joey Votto and end the inning. Wood does it all -- he even played left field last week.

He's also not the only pitcher who can hit. Hendricks singled in the fifth, and Jason Hammel pinch-hit in the eighth and singled. This was the first time since July 28, 1977, when at least three Cubs pitchers recorded a hit in the same game. In that game, Ray Burris, Donnie Moore, Rick Reuschel and Bruce Sutter did so.

Another rough day for Reed: The Cubs have roughed up Reed in back-to-back starts, this time tagging the lefty for eight runs (four earned), five hits and three walks, while he hit two batters and fanned two. He is 0-3 with a 9.00 ERA.

"The saying, 'The struggle bus,' is real, and it's obviously going toward me right now. I think I'm a lot better than what I'm doing," Reed said. More >

Jenkins in, Riggins out as Reds' pitching coach


• The Cubs now are 26-11 at Wrigley Field, the best home record in the NL. They've also played the fewest home games in the league.

• Bryant's home run was the 50th of his career and came in his 867th career at-bat. He's the fastest Cubs player to reach 50 since Dave Kingman (612 at-bats).


• With one out in the Reds' sixth and Votto at first, Jay Bruce hit a grounder to second baseman Baez, who threw to third baseman Jeimer Candelario for a force at second. But Votto was called safe, as was Bruce at first, despite Candelario's throw there. The Cubs challenged the call at second, and after a review, the call stood, and the call at first was confirmed.

• Heyward was called out at first in the Chicago eighth, but after a crew chief review, the call was overturned, and he was credited with an infield single.


Reds:Brandon Finnegan will take the mound in Tuesday's 2:20 p.m. ET game vs. the Cubs. The last time Finnegan pitched at Wrigley Field -- on April 11 -- he took a no-hitter into the seventh inning before his club wound up losing by a 5-3 score.

Cubs:John Lackey will make his 17th start of the season at 1:20 p.m. CT. In his last outing, he posted a quality start but did not get a decision against the Mets. He's 4-3 with a 3.31 ERA in 11 career starts against the Reds.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.