CHICAGO -- When Joe Maddon went to the mound for a pitching change in the second inning on Thursday, the Cubs' manager had a message for the infielders. The Reds had opened an 8-0 lead at that point."I said to the infielders, 'You all need to hit at least one
CHICAGO -- When Joe Maddon went to the mound for a pitching change in the second inning on Thursday, the Cubs' manager had a message for the infielders. The Reds had opened an 8-0 lead at that point.
"I said to the infielders, 'You all need to hit at least one home run,'" Maddon said. "[Anthony] Rizzo is the only guy who did not fulfill the request."
The Cubs went on a home run binge in the fourth inning on Thursday at Wrigley Field, with a leadoff homer by Kristopher Bryant and then back-to-back-to-back jacks against the Reds' Scott Feldman, but it wasn't enough as they lost, 13-10.
Bryant opened the inning with his 23rd homer off a 1-0 pitch from Feldman. Rizzo then doubled and one out later, Alex Avila hit his third homer with the Cubs.
They weren't done. Ian Happ followed with his second homer of the game, and Javier Baez made it three in a row with his 19th.
It's the first time the Cubs have hit three consecutive homers since Derrek Lee, Sammy Sosa and Michael Barrett did so on Sept. 15, 2004, against the Pirates.
Avila said it's the second time he's been involved in a back-to-back-to-back home run surge, also doing so with the Tigers. He did laugh when Maddon delivered his message.
"Hopefully, he says that more often and it happens," Avila said.
The four homers in one inning tied a franchise record, which had been done three times previously. It's the first time since June 21, 2008, against the White Sox that the Cubs hit four in one inning.
"When you're playing at Wrigley and the wind is blowing out, you always feel like you have a chance, especially with our lineup," said Happ, who notched his third career multi-homer game. "To go back-to-back-to-back there and put us back in it, we gave ourselves a chance."
But the Cubs came up short in the end.
"It would've been great if we would've won that game," Avila said. "A game you're not supposed to win, you end up winning is a better story. It's a loss."
According to Statcast™, Happ's homer was the longest at 443 feet, followed by Baez at 414, then Bryant at 386 and Avila at 361.
For the Reds, it was the first time they've served up three in a row since Sept. 9, 2007, when the Brewers did it.
The five homers off Feldman and four in one inning tied a Reds' club record, which had been accomplished many times.
Kyle Schwarber joined in the home run derby with a leadoff shot in the fifth off Michael Lorenzen to pull within 9-7. Bryant walked and then scored on Rizzo's second double, and one out later, Avila tied the game at 9 with an RBI double. Schwarber finished with three hits and became the fourth Cubs player with 20 homers this season.
The Cubs now have 58 home runs since the All-Star break, tops in the NL.
"I think this team, everybody plays hard no matter what the score is," Happ said. "I think that showed. I think the resiliency is something we can try to build on."
Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast.