Cubs continue strong start with sweep of the Reds
Right-hander Jason Hammel scattered four hits over six shutout innings and added a run-scoring double as the Chicago Cubs completed a series sweep with a 8-1 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Thursday.
Addison Russell and Dexter Fowler each went 3-for-4 while Kris Bryant was 2-for-3 with a solo home as the Cubs (8-1) won their fifth straight.
The Reds (5-4) suffered their third straight loss and were swept by the Cubs at Wrigley Field for the first time since September 2014.
Hammel (1-0) allowed four hits and four walks while striking out three. He also went 1-for-2 at the plate, doubling home an insurance run in the fifth inning.
Reds starter Raisel Iglesias (1-1) worked five full innings, allowing three runs on six hits. He struck out two and walked a pair.The Cubs padded the lead with a five-run eighth. They loaded the bases for Russell, whose broken bat single to right off reliever J.J. Hoover delivered one run.
Hoover then walked Matt Szczur on four pitches to bring home Jorge Soler while Fowler added a two-run single to right to make it 7-0. Szczur closed the scoring on Jason Heyward’s one out sacrifice.
Cincinnati scored one ninth-inning run off reliever Justin Grimm, Chicago’s fourth pitcher of the night.
Bryant gave the Cubs a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second with his one-out homer to left.
Bryant took Iglesias’ offering on a 3-2 count and sent it several rows deep into the bleachers for his second home run of the season and second in two nights.
The Cubs loaded the bases with two out in the third but missed a chance to pad the lead when Anthony Rizzo struck out.
Hammel walked two batters in the Reds fourth and had Joey Votto perched at third with two out after Adam Duvall grounded to short for a fielder’s choice. But the threat ended with Jordan Pacheco’s fly out to center.
Hammel also helped his cause in the fifth with a no out double to the wall in right-center, scoring Addison Russell from first for a 2-0 lead. Ben Zobrist made it 3-0 with a one-out sacrifice to center that drove in Hammel.
NOTES: Reds INF Zack Cozart was out of the starting lineup for the second straight game after leaving in the fourth inning of Monday’s series opener with a tightness in his right quad. … Rehabbing Reds LHP John Lamb (back surgery) was scheduled to pitch for Triple-A Louisville against Toledo on Thursday. RHP Homer Bailey (right elbow surgery) was set to throw a bullpen session at the Reds’ player development complex. … The Reds send RHP Tim Melville (0-0, 2.25 ERA) against Cardinals RHP Carlos Martinez (1-0, 3.00 ERA) when the teams open a three-game series on Friday in St. Louis. … After opening the season with five straight road games, the Cubs are now in a stretch with 22 of 32 games at Wrigley Field through May 15. … Cubs batters have been hit by a pitch in six straight games for just the third time since 1913. … The 57 pitches the Cubs faced in Wednesday’s lengthy first inning were most in an opening inning since 59 on July 31, 1994, against the Cardinals. … Cubs RHP Kyle Hendricks (1-0, 2.70 ERA) makes his second start of the season in Friday’s series opener against the Rockies and RHP Chad Bettis (1-0, 4.28 ERA).