Kris Bryant’s sacrifice fly off Robert Stephenson in the 11th inning scored Albert Almora to give the Chicago Cubs a come-from-behind win over the Reds, 6-5 The game changed the order at the top of the Central Division with the Cubs taking a 1/2 game lead.
Stephenson walked Almora with one out in the 11th. Schwarber singled in the hole between Votto and Peraza, sending Almora to third. Bryant hit a fly to left. Almora beat Duvall’s throw home.
Anthony Rizzo hit a three-run home run with two outs in the ninth off Michael Lorenzen to tie the game. Miguel Montero opened the ninth with a single. Almora struck out for the third time. Schwarber fell behind 0-2, fouled off two pitches then dumped a double down the leftfield line. Bryant hit a soft line drive to short, bringing Rizzo to the plate as the tying run. He hit the first pitch into the rightfield stands. His second of the season. Russell flied out to center.
"We had the right guy in the game," Bryan Price said. "I'm not going to lose any sleep over the decisions. It was a tough one to lose. We had the right matchup but Rizzo hit the home run. It was a second guesser's delight. Michael is going to share some of the responsibility of closing, then that's his game to finish. I had the best guy available in our bullpen to face the Cubs in the ninth inning with a three run lead. We just didn't get it done."
Lorenzen threw the pitch with conviction but Rizzo beat him.
"I threw the pitch with conviction. He got me. Tip your cap to him," Lorenzen said. "They were taking good at bats. I was ahead a lot. They were fouling pitches off. Schwarber found some dirt It doesn't reel good. Whenever, you go into pitch. You go into pitch until you come out. Stuff like this happens. It's how you handle it. That's what separates the really good ones is how you handle it. What sucks is out team played so good. Our team played really good baseball. You fight to the last out. You just feel like you let your team down. That's probably the worst."
Jon Lester was second in the Cy Young Award voting last season. Tim Adleman got a second chance to start for the Reds with an injury to Brandon Finnegan after not making the Reds’ roster out of spring training.
On a cool overcast night at Great American Ball Park. It was difficult to tell the difference between Adleman and Cubs’ slugger Kris Bryant. Adleman outpitched Lester and added a two-run double.
Adleman pitched six innings, allowing two solo home runs among four hits. He walked two and hit a batter but also struck out seven Cubs, including Jason Heyward with runners on first and second in the first inning.
'I felt in control for the most part," Adleman said. "My curve ball was a little inconsistent but six innings, two runs against the Cubs, if you talk about it before the game, you'd take that."
Heyward got a bit of revenge with his first home run of the season in the fourth inning.
The Reds answered in the bottom half. Eugenio Suarez doubled one out into the inning. Zack Cozart, who entered the game with a lofty .400 average, doubled to tie the game. Scott Schebler grounded back to the mound for the second out. Cubs’ manager Joe Maddon waived four fingers to intentionally walk Tucker Barnhart to bring Adleman to the plate. The big right-hander ruined perfectly good strategy by launching a double deep into the left centerfield gap to score both runners.
"Talking about the positives in a game like this is irrelevant," Price said.
'Any time you can do something to take a lead its big. Going into the fourth of fifth inning with a three-run lead, that's where you want to be," Adleman said. "The batting practice we take every day is helping. I just look for stuff over the plate that I can handle. I not going to get to Lorenzen's status as a pinch hitter but I welcome the opportunity."
Javier Baez led off the next inning with his first home run of the season but Adam Duvall canceled it with his fifth home run to the rightfield corner.
The Cubs put two men on with one out in the sixth but Adleman didn’t buckle, getting Heyward out on a sliding stop by Jose Peraza at second and a nifty short hop pickup by Suarez.
The Reds worked Lester after two outs in the bottom of the sixth. Barnhart singled. Pinch hitter Patrick Kivlehan walked. Justin Grimm did the unheard of feat of walking Billy Hamilton, who has walked just four times in 67 plate appearances and Peraza, who had walked once in 65 plate appearances. Peraza’s scored Barnhart. Joey Votto lined out to centerfield to end the inning.
Drew Storen started the seventh on the mound for the Reds. He hit Baez with a pitch to start it. Pinch hitter Jon Jay singled. When Hamilton tried to throw Baez out at third, Jay took second. Storen preserved the lead by striking out Albert Almora, getting Kyle Schwarber on a fly out to shallow left and Kris Bryant on a foul out to Barnhart.
Lorenzen entered in the eighth. The Cubs put two on with no outs again. After getting ahead of Rizzo 0-2, Lorenzen walked him. Addison Russel singled but Heyward hit into a force play. Wilson Contreras popped to short and Baez forced Russel with a ground ball to third.
Hector Rondon allowed a walk to Votto in a scoreless ninth.
Wandy Peralta retired the Cubs in order in the top of the 10th.
Carl Edwards Jr. turned in a perfect 10th for the Cubs.
Wade Davis retired the Reds in order in the 11th for his fourth save, sending the Reds to an extra inning loss for the second day in a row.