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Zobrist driving force for Cubs after late arrival

Special to MLB.com

CINCINNATI -- Better late than never.

Ben Zobrist, scratched from the starting lineup when he was late arriving to the ballpark due to a rental car snafu, logged a pinch-hit, go-ahead double in the seventh inning on Tuesday night as the Cubs won their fourth in a row -- a 13-9 victory over the Reds.

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CINCINNATI -- Better late than never.

Ben Zobrist, scratched from the starting lineup when he was late arriving to the ballpark due to a rental car snafu, logged a pinch-hit, go-ahead double in the seventh inning on Tuesday night as the Cubs won their fourth in a row -- a 13-9 victory over the Reds.

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The veteran second baseman had gone home to Nashville, Tenn., for Monday's off-day and planned to rent a car there for the four-hour drive to Cincinnati. However, when he arrived at the rental car desk, he was told the company was out of vehicles.

"I've had nightmares about this before," Zobrist said. "I was flustered for about seven hours today until I got here. It was pretty stressful."

Zobrist eventually got a car, after stops at several other rental counters, but he then got stuck in traffic. Cubs manager Joe Maddon knew time was running short and believed it was a safer call to insert Ian Happ into the lineup.

Video: CHC@CIN: Baez ties the game with a two-run single

The Cubs, who trailed by three runs after five innings and entered the seventh down 6-4, strung together four consecutive two-out hits off Reds left-hander Wandy Peralta. No. 8 hitter Javier Baez drove in two runs with a broken-bat single to right (after battling back from 0-2 to a full count), bringing up the No. 9 spot (Tommy La Stella had pinch-hit for pitcher John Lackey in the sixth).

Zobrist entered the game and, on the second pitch he saw, belted a long drive to right-center field that bounced off the warning track, then off the fence, easily scoring the go-ahead runs.

"When you show up for the game when I did, you better do something out there," Zobrist said.

Video: CHC@CIN: Cubs score five runs in the top of the 8th

The Cubs tacked on five more runs off Blake Wood in the eighth inning, with Zobrist driving in the fifth run on a groundout.

Andrew Call is a contributor to MLB.com based in Cincinnati.

Chicago Cubs, Ben Zobrist