CINCINNATI (AP) — The Cincinnati Reds had a five-game winning streak snapped and that was just the start of the bad news Thursday.
Luis Valbuena hit a tiebreaking, two-run triple in the 12th inning and the Chicago Cubs avoided a rare five-game sweep in Cincinnati with a 6-4 win in 12 innings.
The Reds found out during the game that second baseman Brandon Phillips would be out six weeks after he has surgery on Friday to repair torn ligaments in his left thumb. He was injured diving for a ground ball Wednesday night and an MRI on Thursday revealed torn ligaments.
Starter Homer Bailey left the game with a 1-2 count on Starlin Castro leading off the third. It appeared his spike caught on the mound and he was removed from the game with a strained right patellar tendon.
Then tempers flared on the field with both benches and bullpens emptying in the ninth but no punches were thrown and there were no ejections.
In the 12th, highly regarded prospect Arismendy Alcantara singled with one out and went to second on Castro’s two-out infield single. Valbuena, 0 for 4 with three strikeouts, sent a ball to deep right field off J.J. Hoover (1-6) that Skip Schumaker couldn’t catch up to and. Valbuena was thrown out at the plate trying to stretch it into an inside-the-park home run. The out call stood after an umpire crew chief request for a replay review to make sure the new rule regarding home plate collisions wasn’t violated.
Blake Parker (1-0) pitched the last two innings and the Cubs snapped their losing streak at a season-high six games.
The Reds scored three runs in the first inning off Kyle Hendricks, who was making his major league debut.
Ryan Ludwick hit his sixth home run of the season in the third inning to give the Reds a 4-1 lead. Bailey’s wildness provided the Cubs with enough baserunners to creep back into the game.
“It’s baseball so you have these situations over the course of the year. Castro did a nice job getting the hit in the eighth. You have to acknowledge the fact that they played a nice ballgame,” Reds’ manager Bryan Price said. “He (Hendricks) worked around a three-run first inning and really held us down. It wasn’t so much that it got away from us as they went out and outplayed us.”
Bailey, who hit Anthony Rizzo in the first inning, grazed Baker with a pitch with one out in the fifth. One out later, he walked Coghlan. Alcantara doubled, the first of his four hits, to score both runners.
The Reds held the lead until Castro singled home Alcantara with two outs in the eighth off Jonathan Broxton, who came into the game with seven straight scoreless appearances. It was just the third run Broxton has allowed in 31 innings.
Aroldis Chapman struck out Ryan Sweeney and Nate Schierholtz in the ninth to tie Bruce Sutter as the only relief pitcher since 1900 to strike out at least one batter in 39 straight appearances.
Two pitches to Schierholtz were up and in and Rizzo approached the Reds bench with angry words for Chapman before the Reds batted in the bottom of the inning.
“There were two pitches that got away from me,” Chapman said through interpreter Tomas Vera. “Their bench started to say something to me and their first baseman came over to our bench.”
Alfredo Simon met Rizzo on the field.
“There was a lot of testosterone on the field,” Price said. “That is the way baseball is. We hit Rizzo, certainly unintentional. Cozart got hit in the hand certainly that was unintentional. Chapman had the ball get away from him up and in and things got a little testy. It’s baseball We’re trying to win every game we can as are the Cubs. I just think it was an overflow of testosterone.”
Cozart had ice on his left hand as he spoke to the media.
“I knew they would be frustrated. We’re frustrated,” Cozart said. “Whether it’s on purpose or not, no one likes balls coming at them. My hand is just a little swollen.”
NOTES: The Reds promoted INF Kristopher Negron from Triple-A Louisville and optioned RHP Carlos Contreras to Louisville before the game. RHP Brett Marshall was designated for assignment to make room for Negron on the 40-man roster. … Chicago optioned RHP Dallas Beeler to Triple-A Iowa to make room on the 25-man roster for Hendricks.
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