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Cubs surge past Reds for 4th straight victory

August 22, 2017

CINCINNATI -- The Cubs have certainly had to scrape and fight for their wins the last couple of days. Trailing twice to the Reds, a four-run seventh inning and five-run eighth helped Chicago emerge with a 13-9 victory -- its fourth in a row.On Sunday vs. the Blue Jays, the

CINCINNATI -- The Cubs have certainly had to scrape and fight for their wins the last couple of days. Trailing twice to the Reds, a four-run seventh inning and five-run eighth helped Chicago emerge with a 13-9 victory -- its fourth in a row.
On Sunday vs. the Blue Jays, the Cubs needed three runs in the 10th inning to win -- after giving up two in the top half. On Tuesday, the Reds blew leads of 3-0 and 6-3.
"The guys picked me up tonight," said John Lackey after the Cubs won their eighth consecutive game in which he has started despite him being charged with six runs in five innings. "Any way you win games is good."
The first-place Cubs maintained a 2 1/2-game lead in the National League Central standings with the Brewers' 4-3 win over the Giants on Tuesday night.
After Michael Lorenzen's one-out walk in the seventh to Anthony Rizzo, lefty Wandy Peralta gave up four straight two-out hits. Following a bad-luck ricocheted infield hit off of the pitcher, a broken-bat single by Javier Baez scored two runs and tied the game. Benjamin Zobrist's pinch-hit two-run double was rocketed to right-center field for an 8-6 lead.
"There were some very good at-bats. Then things just unraveled from there," Reds manager Bryan Price said.

Reds reliever Blake Wood had another disastrous outing, where his first six batters of the eighth inning reached safely -- the first three via walks. That led to five more runs scoring to break the game wide open as nine men batted in the inning. Wood has given up 11 earned runs over his last two appearances with five walks.
On the heels of the Cubs making it a 3-3 game in the top of the fifth, Eugenio Suarez put the Reds back in front in the bottom half against starter Lackey. On a 2-2 pitch, Suarez lifted a three-run homer to left-center field. In the ninth against Felix Pena, he added a two-run homer for a career-high five RBIs.

Lackey went five innings, allowing six earned runs, nine hits and one walk with three strikeouts in a no-decision.

With two out in the third vs. Lackey, Scooter Gennett staked the Reds to a 3-0 lead with his 22nd homer of the season -- a solo shot to right field. However, starter Homer Bailey was unable to stick around after the third because of an irritation in the back of his shoulder. Kevin Shackelford took over in the fourth and struggled to get through the fifth as the Cubs sent eight men to the plate.
Baez battles back: Facing Peralta in the seventh, Baez was down quickly in an 0-2 count before working the at-bat for three-straight balls. After Baez fouled off a changeup, Peralta threw a 98-mph fastball and broke his bat. The ball rolled softly through the right side of the infield for a two-run single that briefly made it 6-6.

Duvall's arm ends rally: After Shackelford's four-pitch walk to Alex Avila loaded the bases with two out in the fifth, Jason Heyward hit the tying RBI single to left field. After Rizzo scored, Ian Happ also tried to come home with the potential go-ahead run. Duvall made a perfect throw to Tucker Barnhart at the plate and Happ was tagged for the third out. Duvall leads all Major League outfielders with 12 assists. Reds outfielders also lead the Majors with 32 assists.

"It's been tough. It's hard to watch because he puts his heart and soul in what he does. He's totally invested. To watch him struggle like this has been really challenging, just from a personal standpoint and from a team standpoint. ... This run here has been kind of ugly." -- Price, on Wood's recent stretch of performances
Between Lackey's two walks and singles by Bailey, Shackelford and Lorenzen, the pitchers combined to reach in all five of their plate appearances. The last time three Reds pitchers had at least one hit in a game was May 19, 1999, at Colorado when Denny Neagle, Steve Parris and Ron Villone all collected hits.

Following being hit on the left hand by a Drew Storen pitch in the top of the ninth, Kristopher Bryant left the game. In the bottom of the ninth, Rizzo shifted across the diamond to play third base. He became the first left-handed throwing third baseman to play in the Majors since Mario Valdez did it for the White Sox on July 2, 1997, and the first for the Cubs since George Decker in 1895 and Jimmy Ryan in 1886.

"He'll probably put himself down as a third baseman in his Twitter bio," Bryant said. The only available position player for the Cubs at that point was catcher Rene Rivera.
X-rays taken on Bryant's hand after the game revealed only a contusion, but he will likely get a day off on Wednesday. Cubs manager Joe Maddon said he had planned to give Bryant a day off soon anyway.

"I'm OK, I think," Bryant said. "I think it could have been a lot worse. That part of the hand is pretty fragile."
In a potential inning-ending double play, Jonathan Jay grounded to Gennett, who threw to shortstop Zack Cozart covering second base to get Lackey. Cozart's foot came off the bag and he dropped the ball in the transfer. Lackey was called out by umpire Adam Hamari, but the Cubs challenged and the call was overturned because Cozart's foot was not touching second base, and he was charged with an error.

Cubs: Left-hander Mike Montgomery (3-6, 3.64 ERA) will make his ninth start as the series against the Reds continues on Wednesday at 6:10 p.m. CT at Great American Ball Park. Montgomery, who has pitched in 27 games in relief and is filling in for the injured Jonathan Lester, made his last start on July 19 at Atlanta, giving up one run over six innings.
Reds: Right-hander Asher Wojciechowski will step in for the injured Scott Feldman and start Wednesday's middle game against the Cubs at 7:10 p.m. ET. Wojciechowski started vs. the Cubs on Aug. 14 at Wrigley Field, and he was tagged for seven earned runs and 10 hits over 3 2/3 innings in a 15-5 loss.
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Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Andrew Call is a contributor to based in Cincinnati and covered the Cubs on Tuesday.