The Reds center fielder broke an 0-for-7 slump when he singled home two runs to snap an 11th-inning tie, and the Cincinnati Reds beat the Chicago Cubs 6-4 Tuesday night at Wrigley Field. Choo lined an RBI single to center with no outs off Cubs reliever Eduardo Sanchez (0-1), scoring Ryan Ludwick and Devin Mesoraco. "Sometimes he's been taking the best pitch to hit," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "But this time he went up ready ... and that was a big hit by Choo." Sanchez, who was making his fourth appearance with the Cubs, then walked Todd Frazier to load the bases but got out of the inning when Joey Votto grounded into a double play and Brandon Phillips (3-for-6) struck out. Cincinnati closer Aroldis Chapman entered for the second straight night and pitched a 1-2-3 inning for his 29th save. Reds right-hander J.J. Hoover (3-5) pitched 2 1/3 scoreless innings for the win. He allowed one hit and no walks while striking out two. Chapman and Hoover, plus fellow Reds relievers Sam LeCure and Manny Parra turned in another strong collective effort, permitting no runs and just one hit through the final 4 2/3 innings. "No one wants to go out there and fail," Hoover said. "This group of guys, we feed off each other's success. That's all we're trying to do out there." Cincinnati beat Chicago for the 14th in the teams' past 15 meetings at Wrigley Field. Cubs third baseman Donnie Murphy hit a leadoff home run in the seventh inning, tying the score at 4.
Reds starter Homer Bailey worked 6 1/3 innings, allowing four runs on six hits, including three home runs. He walked three and struck out five. Cubs starter Jeff Samardzija was hit early for the second straight appearance but settled down after giving up four runs in the first three innings. He pitched through the sixth inning, allowing four runs on six hits while striking out five and walking four. It was an improvement from Samardzija's last outing, when he gave up a career-high-tying nine runs on a career-high 11 hits in 3 1/3 innings at Philadelphia. "I felt good out there," Samardzija said. "If I had to go back on anything, it's that first-pitch strike. I felt like I was behind in the count a lot tonight even when they were taking a pitch. That first pitch is a big one, and you want to jump ahead on the count." Chicago catcher Dioner Navarro went 2-for-5, hitting a fourth-inning solo home run to give the Cubs their first run at home in four games. The Reds picked up two runs in the first. Choo walked, reached third on Votto's one-out double and scored on Phillips' single to center. Votto came home on Jay Bruce's grounder to second. Cubs right fielder Nate Schierholtz made it 2-2 in the second with his 16th homer of the season, a two-run shot to right that brought home Navarro. Cincinnati added two runs in the third. Votto walked, reached second on Phillips' single and moved to third on a double steal. He came home on when Bruce walked, with Samardzija's wild pitch on ball four advancing Phillips to third. Xavier Paul's fielder's choice grounder to second made it 4-2. Navarro narrowed the deficit to 4-3 with a leadoff homer in the fourth that landed just left of the right field foul pole. The home run was his 10th of the season, a career high, topping the mark he set in 2007 with the Tampa Bay Rays. NOTES: The Cubs were shut out Monday for the third straight time at Wrigley Field, matching a record set when they lost three straight in August 1924. Before Tuesday, their last runs at home came on Aug. 2 in a 6-2 defeat to the Los Angeles Dodgers. ... Cubs SS Starlin Castro has a 23-game errorless streak, one game shy of his career best set from July 14-Aug. 9, 2011. ... The Cubs saluted Hall of Famer Ernie Banks prior to the game after the recent announcement that he'll receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom. ... Phillips has 90 RBIs, which ranks second in the NL. He's trying to become the first Reds second baseman to lead the league. ... Cincinnati starters began the night second in the National League in ERA (3.32), while the Reds' relievers were sixth with a 3.52 ERA.
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