Reds rip Cubs with 7 homers
The Chicago Cubs’ friendly confines was even nicer to a visiting team, for once.
Ross hit two of Cincinnati’s seven homers, a long-ball barrage that included Ken Griffey Jr.’s 605th, and the Reds avoided a sweep with a 12-7 victory.
It was only Chicago’s 11th home loss this season.
“It was a hot and humid day and I’ve seen that ball travel here on these kind of days big time. Anything that was up in the air, you were always nervous,” said Reds manager Dusty Baker, who skippered the Cubs for four years and knows all about wild games at the neighborhood park.
“That was big for the offense to break out like that and keep scoring. In this ballpark you’re never comfortable. I don’t care what the lead is, especially with the offense that they have over there.”
Edwin Encarnacion, Brandon Phillips, Adam Dunn and Joey Votto also homered with the wind blowing out at 12 mph on a muggy day. The Reds tied their season high for homers—they also had seven against the Cubs at their longball-friendly yard, Great American Ball Park, on May 7.
“I had a chance to play today and made the most of it,” Ross said. “I think everybody wants to hit when the wind is blowing out here.”
Griffey hit a three-run drive off reliever Michael Wuertz as Cincinnati scored four times in the fourth to take an 8-3 lead. He also had a run-scoring double and finished with four RBIs
“We were just trying to get base hits. Sometimes you get the ball in the air and it can go out,” Griffey said. “The wind was blowing out.”
Griffey’s 12th homer of the season got him within four of tying Sammy Sosa for fifth on the career list with 609.
The Reds chased Ted Lilly (9-6) after 2 2-3 innings, his shortest outing of the season. The left-hander gave up six hits and four runs before he was removed by manager Lou Piniella.
“An ugly inning,” Lilly said of the third. “I understand why Lou wanted to go in a different direction.”
Mike Fontenot homered for Chicago, which dropped to 35-11 at home.
All-Star outfielder Kosuke Fukudome fouled a ball off his leg in the eighth and was replaced in the field in the ninth. Fukudome said he was OK but playing every day could be wearing on the Cubs’ first-year player.
He struck out three times and went 0-for-5 as his average dropped to .282.
“It looks to me like he’s swinging awfully tired,” Piniella said.
Chicago cut it to 8-5 on Fontenot’s two-run drive in the fourth but Ross went deep in the fifth and Dunn’s long drive to right in the sixth cleared the stadium and landed on the other side of Sheffield Ave.
Piniella said he lost track of how many homers the Reds hit. “I know the one Dunn hit counted for two,” he cracked.
Cincinnati finished with 18 hits. … It was Ross’ eighth career multihomer game. … RHP Rich Harden, acquired by the Cubs on Tuesday from Oakland, threw a light bullpen session on Thursday. Harden could be on a pitch limit of about 100 when he makes his Cubs’ debut on Saturday against the Giants. … Baker said the team likely will recall RHP Homer Bailey from Triple-A Louisville to start on Sunday in place of Aaron Harang, who had an MRI on Thursday that came back normal. It showed he has a strained right forearm. … INF Jolbert Cabrera (dislocated left index finger), currently on a minor league rehab assignment, is expected to return to the Reds shortly after the All-Star break. … In the bottom of the second, Lilly’s line drive foul ball struck a youngster sitting in the seats about 20 rows behind the Cubs’ dugout on the third base side. The youngster was carried out of the stands. A first aid employee said the youngster was taken to the hospital and appeared to be OK. Lilly said he was unaware the kid had been struck.