CINCINNATI -- For the second straight night, the Chicago Cubs
relinquished a two-run lead only to regain it in extra innings. But this time they held on to win.
Second baseman Darwin Barney
provided the big blow with a solo homer in the 10th inning, lifting the Cubs to a 4-2 victory over the Cincinnati Reds
on Tuesday night at Great American Ball Park.
Barney's home run and an RBI hit by Dave Sappelt in the 10th off Reds left-hander Manny Parra
helped the Cubs avoid another frustrating loss after the Reds tied the score in the ninth.
It was the first RBI of the season for both Barney and Sappelt, helping Chicago snap a four-game losing streak.
"Our team needed that win," Barney said. "It was nice to get an RBI in that situation. I thought I hit it pretty good. I got ahead in the count and was looking for something to drive."
Parra (0-1) allowed two runs (one earned) on four hits in 1 1/3 innings to take the loss.
Reds manager Dusty Baker felt he had no choice but to stick with Parra after using six relievers on Monday night.
"He was our only guy," Baker said. "He made a mistake to Barney. We couldn't go upside-down with our bullpen."
On Monday night, the Cubs took a two-run lead in the 13th inning on Luis Valbuena's homer, only to see the Reds score three runs in the bottom half to win it.
Cincinnati had runners on first and second against Kevin Gregg in the 10th on Tuesday. But he retired the final two batters to earn his first save.
Chicago led 2-1 entering the ninth Tuesday, with starter Carlos Villanueva
on track for his first career complete game. But Shin-Soo Choo walked to begin the ninth and advanced to second on Zack Cozart's sacrifice bunt.
"As a starting pitcher you always want to finish what you start," Villanueva said. "The most important thing was to go deep in the game. We needed it."
But with the tying run on second and Reds first baseman Joey Votto
up, Cubs manager Dale Sveum made the decision to replace Villanueva with Carlos Marmol
. "The numbers don't lie," Sveum said.
Votto was 1-for-15 with nine strikeouts in his career against Marmol. But Votto lined an RBI single to right-center, driving home Choo with the tying run.
"He got the ground ball he needed," Sveum said. "It's like, really? He can't hit it at somebody? Are you kidding me?"
Marmol hadn't allowed a run in six outings since being removed as Cubs' closer. The Reds had the bases loaded against him with two outs, but Chris Heisey
grounded out to end the inning.
Marmol (2-1) earned the victory.
Villanueva delivered another strong outing in his fifth start for Chicago, allowing two runs in 8 1/3 innings, but fell two outs shy of a complete game.
"I think I made good pitches," Villanueva said. "We executed today and got it done. We've been close in a lot of games. Hopefully this win will turn things around."
Reds left-hander Tony Cingrani, coming off a victory in his first career start, was sharp again Tuesday. He gave up two runs in seven innings, with a career-high nine strikeouts, helping a beleaguered Reds bullpen rest after Monday's 13-inning marathon.
"That's why it was so important for us to try to win it in the ninth," Baker said. "We didn't want another extra-inning game."
Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro went 0-for-4, ending his career-long 14-game hitting streak, which was the longest active streak in the majors.
Heisey hit a solo homer in the third inning for Cincinnati. Cody Ransom homered in his first at-bat as a Cub in the second.
Reds catcher Corky Miller was making his first major league appearance since 2010, and the Cubs tested him early.
Alfonso Soriano singled in the second inning, stole second and third, then scored on Scott Hairston's sacrifice fly.
After some small ball with Soriano, Ransom launched Cingrani's first pitch into the right-center field seats, putting the Cubs ahead 2-0.
Heisey hit his second homer of the season on Villanueva's first pitch in the third inning, making the score 2-1.
NOTES: Choo has reached base in all 20 of his appearances this season. .. Reds RHP Jonathan Broxton felt well enough to pitch Tuesday after being struck on his right hand by Nate Schierholtz's line drive in the eighth inning Monday. Broxton left the game, but X-rays were negative. ... Ransom, who was claimed off waivers from San Diego on April 16, became the first player to homer in his first Cubs at-bat since Starlin Castro on May 7, 2010. ... Miller spent all of the 2011 and 2012 seasons with the Reds' Triple-A Louisville affiliate.
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- Chicago Cubs
- Cincinnati Reds
- Carlos Villanueva
- Darwin Barney