CHICAGO — – Joc Pederson, Ian Happ and Eric Sogard each drove in two runs, and the Chicago Cubs beat the Cincinnati Reds 10-2 on Saturday for their season-high sixth consecutive victory.
Rafael Ortega homered and Kris Bryant had a run-scoring single, helping the Cubs improve to 18-7 this month. It’s the most wins for the team in May since it went 18-10 in 2016.
Cincinnati right-hander Luis Castillo (1-8) pitched five-plus innings of four-run ball in his seventh straight loss. Castillo, who started on opening day, became the first pitcher to drop seven consecutive decisions or starts for the Reds since Homer Bailey lost seven straight starts in 2018.
The game was tied at 2 before Chicago pushed across four runs in the sixth, helped by four walks. Sogard reached on a bases-loaded walk against Amir Garrett before Pederson’s two-run single lifted the Cubs to a 5-2 lead. Bryant added an RBI single, extending his hitting streak to 11 games.
Ortega went deep in the seventh, reaching the basket in right on a windy, cool day at Wrigley Field. It was Ortega’s first homer since Sept. 29, 2019, for Atlanta.
Nick Castellanos doubled in the eighth, extending his hitting streak to 15 games, but Cincinnati finished with just five hits in its third loss in four games. It dropped to 10-15 in May.
The 13-hit attack for the Cubs helped the team overcome another injury. David Bote departed with a left shoulder injury after he got hurt on a slide into second in the fourth. He was helped off, and the team said he is undergoing further evaluation.
Chicago jumped in front with two unearned runs in the second, taking advantage of some shaky defense by the Reds.
Willson Contreras was caught off second on Bote’s one-out grounder to Eugenio Suárez, but the shortstop threw wildly to third for an error. Sogard then drove in Contreras with an infield hit, and Bote scored when pitcher Zach Davies reached on a bunt single.
Davies threw shutout ball into the sixth before he was lifted after issuing a leadoff walk to Suárez. Two more walks loaded the bases for Tyler Stephenson, who lined a tying, two-run double into right field.
Before Stephenson’s hit against Keegan Thompson (3-1), the Cubs bullpen had gone a franchise-record 38 1/3 innings without allowing an earned run.
Reds: INF/OF Nick Senzel had his left knee cleaned out by Dr. Timothy Kremchek during an operation on Friday. There is no timetable for his return. «Nothing that happened in the surgery will change the fact that he has every intention of being back as soon as possible and play a lot of the year,» manager David Bell said. … INF Mike Moustakas (right heel) is still running in water, but «the mobility, everything’s like coming back to him,» Bell said. … With Jeff Hoffman (right shoulder) on the 10-day injured list, Bell said RHP Vladimir Gutiérrez will make another start Wednesday against Philadelphia. Gutiérrez pitched five innings of one-run ball in his major league debut Friday.
Cubs: 1B Anthony Rizzo (back tightness) was out of the lineup for the fourth consecutive game. «Still day to day,» manager David Ross said. «Things are progressing, like I said, in a positive manner.» … OF Jason Heyward (left hamstring strain) ran the bases before the game. … RHP Alec Mills (low back strain) pitched four innings of two-run ball in his second rehab start with Triple-A Iowa on Friday. Ross said he’ll make another rehab start in five days.
Jake Arrieta (5-4, 4.37 ERA) starts for the Cubs in Sunday’s series finale. The right-hander is 7-3 with a 3.80 ERA in 11 career starts against Cincinnati. Tyler Mahle (3-2, 3.75 ERA) pitches for the Reds. Mahle worked 5 1/3 scoreless innings in a 2-1 victory at Washington on Tuesday.
Jay Cohen can be reached at https://twitter.com/jcohenap
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