CHICAGO -- Have yourself a month, Joey Votto.
In the top of the second inning of the Reds’ 8-2 win over the Cubs at Wrigley Field on Wednesday, the 37-year-old first baseman sent a 1-1 curveball from Zach Davies into the left-field bleachers to start off the scoring for Cincinnati.
“He just continues to be fun to watch and contribute in a big way to our wins,” Reds manager David Bell said. “It's a real pleasure and joy to watch him at the plate right now.”
The blast also extended Votto's streak of games with a home run to five consecutive, which is the first time in his career he’s accomplished the feat. That ties the all-time franchise record, accomplished by eight other Reds hitters since 1901, with Eugenio Suárez being the last to have done so in July 2018.
“Guys are going to go through streaks where they see every pitch that's thrown. Whether it's a good pitcher's pitch or not,” Davies said. “The curveball was a little bit up. It gave him a chance to get underneath the ball and he's -- to me -- a power hitter. So that's a pitch that -- while it is a ball -- it wasn't the best pitch in the situation, and he took care of it. Tip your hat to him and move on to the next hitter in the lineup.”
Just when it seemed like Votto might be done turning Wrigley Field into his personal Little League park, he found another way to etch his name into the history books.
With Tyler Stephenson on base following a leadoff walk in the ninth, Votto roped a 3-1 fastball off Cubs reliever Cory Abbott over the center-field wall for his second dinger of the night. That gave him back-to-back multihomer games and also seven homers in his last five contests. In both instances, the 37-year-old is the oldest National League player to ever accomplish the feat.
“I’ve gone through really good stretches before, offensively; getting on base a lot, lots of extra-base hits, lots of hits,” Votto said. “Homers-wise, this is certainly the best stretch I’ve been on in a short period of time.”
When he spoke to the media following Cincinnati’s 7-4 win Tuesday night, Votto said that getting the barrel of his bat to the ball has been a priority of his this season. After another multihomer affair -- the 15th of his career that helped raise his July OPS to 1.193 -- that focus is paying very clear dividends.
“It’s crazy. I think he started last season off like that, too. Like he was just going off and then he’s doing that right now, too,” Reds starter Tyler Mahle said. “It’s amazing. That’s the only way to put it. It’s incredible.”