Cincinnati outslug Chicago Cubs behind Phillip Ervin

By Jack McCarthy, The Sports Xchange   |   Aug. 18, 2017 at 12:01 AM
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CHICAGO -- Phillip Ervin drove in four runs, including a go-ahead two-run homer in the seventh inning, as the Cincinnati Reds blew an early nine-run lead and outlasted the Chicago Cubs 13-10 Thursday afternoon.

Ervin was 3-for-4 and homered off Justin Grimm (1-2) to give the Reds an 11-9 lead after they held a 9-0 advantage following the second inning.

Joey Votto also homered for the Reds, who split the series despite allowing six homers on a windswept day.

Ian Happ homered twice for the Cubs, including the second of three straight homers in the fourth. Kris Bryant hit his 23rd homer to start the fourth, Alex Avila preceded Happ's second homer with a two-run homer and Javier Baez homered on the next pitch after Happ's second homer.

Kyle Schwarber also homered for the Cubs.

Both starters were long gone when the game was decided.

Jon Lester allowed nine runs (seven earned) in 1 2/3 innings. He was evaluated after exiting with a strained lat.

Reds right-hander Scott Feldman allowed Chicago's first five homers and six runs in 3 2/3 innings.

Drew Storen (4-2) pitched a scoreless sixth. Raisel Iglesias allowed a one-out single to Anthony Rizzo and threw a wild pitch but struck out Avila to end the slugfest and notch his 22nd save.

The Reds sent 13 to the plate in a nine-run second. They opened the inning with four straight hits, including Ervin's RBI single that made it 2-0.

Votto hit his 32nd homer of the season to push the lead to 7-0. Eugenio Suarez's double made it 8-0 and chased Lester.

Ervin's double off Mike Montgomery made it 9-0. The inning ended when Scooter Gennett was tagged out by Avila after scrambling back to touch the plate.

Happ began Chicago's comeback in the second with his first homer.

Bryant slammed a 1-0 pitch down the left field line with none out in the fourth before Avila, Happ and Baez homered in a span of four pitches.

The back-to-back-to-back homers were the first for the Cubs since 2004 and just the 11th in franchise history. They also tied a team record with four home runs in an inning.

The Cubs tied it in the fifth against Michael Lorenzen.

Schwarber homered on the first pitch of the inning, Rizzo hit an RBI double and scored the tying run on Avila's double.

A sacrifice fly by Happ made it 11-10 but Suarez and Jose Peraza drove in the final two runs for the Reds.

NOTES: Longtime Reds front office executive Gene Bennett died Wednesday at age 89. He signed as a player in 1952 and began scouting in 1958 with notable signings that included Don Gullett, Barry Larkin, Chris Sabo and five-time World Series champion Paul O'Neill. ... The Reds play their first games at Atlanta's new SunTrust Park in this weekend's three-game series. The Cubs host the Toronto Blue Jays for the third time and first time since 2005. ... 1B Anthony Rizzo's grand slam homer on Wednesday was just the third ever by a Cubs cleanup hitter in the first inning with none out, joining Bob O'Farrell (1923) and Hank Lieber (1939).

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