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Dansby Swanson 2-run homer, Seiya Suzuki grand slam lift Cubs past Reds

Dansby Swanson 2-run homer, Seiya Suzuki grand slam lift Cubs past Reds originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

CHICAGO (AP) -- Dansby Swanson hit a tiebreaking two-run homer in the eighth inning, and the Chicago Cubs beat the Cincinnati Reds 7-5 on a rainy Saturday night.

Seiya Suzuki committed an ugly error and hit his first career grand slam -- in one wild inning -- as Chicago won for just the second time in its last 10 games. Nico Hoerner walked twice, scored two runs and drove in another.

Mark Leiter Jr. (2-3) got three outs for the win, and Héctor Neris handled the ninth for his seventh save in nine opportunities.

“It’s been a little bit of a tough stretch and just to be able to fight and compete today, regardless of the conditions and just being here all day and all the different kind of obstacles, we really just stepped up today,” Swanson said.

Spencer Steer had three hits for Cincinnati, which had won five of seven.

The start was delayed for almost 3 1/2 hours because of rain, and the showers continued with varying intensity through the first few innings at Wrigley Field.

The game was tied at 5 when Hoerner walked with one out in the eighth against Lucas Sims (1-2). Swanson followed with a drive to left-center on an 0-2 fastball for his fifth homer.

“I think we were all thrilled for Dansby,” Cubs manager Craig Counsell said. “You know he needed it, and to have the hit that wins the game, that's a big deal.”

Cincinnati turned Suzuki's second error of the season into four unearned runs in the second. With two out and the bases loaded, Suzuki had Luke Maile's routine flyball to right go off his glove before landing in the outfield grass.

All three runners scored, and Stuart Fairchild followed with an RBI single off Justin Steele that lifted the Reds to a 4-0 lead.

Suzuki responded with a big swing in the bottom half, delighting what was left of the announced crowd of 36,430. With two out and the bases loaded on three walks, the Japanese slugger drove a 3-2 fastball from Hunter Greene deep to left for his sixth homer of the season.

“To be honest with you, I don't really remember that at-bat,” Suzuki said through a translator. “It was more of just that play that I should have caught that ball in right field.”

Chicago went in front on Hoerner's RBI single in the third, but Cincinnati tied it at 5 when Jeimer Candelario singled home Fairchild in the fourth.

Greene allowed three hits in six innings, but issued five walks and hit two batters. The right-hander went 3-0 with a 1.95 ERA in his previous six starts.

“Early on he had the inning where he lost command a little bit and Suzuki got him. Missed a spot,” Reds manager David Bell said. “And other than that he really pitched well. … An experience like tonight, he couldn't have handled it any better in my opinion.”

Steele permitted one earned run and seven hits in five innings. The left-hander struck out five and walked four.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Cubs: RHP Julian Merryweather (rib stress fracture) won't be back until some point after the All-Star break, according to Counsell. … RHP Yency Almonte (shoulder strain) is ramping up the intensity of his throwing program. “But he's still in a phase of just playing catch, throwing program in the outfield right now,” Counsell said. “Not on a mound yet, so a ways to go.”

UP NEXT

Reds left-hander Nick Lodolo (4-2, 3.12 ERA) and Cubs right-hander Ben Brown (1-1, 2.72 ERA) start the series finale on Sunday afternoon. Lodolo pitched 5 1/3 innings of one-run ball in a 3-1 victory over St. Louis on Monday. Brown is coming off a dominant performance in Milwaukee, striking out 10 while pitching seven no-hit innings in Chicago's 6-3 win on Tuesday.

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