Chicago, IL (Sports Network) – Drew Stubbs hit the tie-breaking home run in a two-run eighth inning that carried Cincinnati past Chicago, 4-3, in the middle matchup of a three-game set.
Stubbs launched Randy Wells’ second pitch of the inning over the wall in left- center field to give the Reds a 2-1 lead. He finished the game 3-for-4 with two runs scored and two runs knocked in and Ramon Hernandez added two hits and an RBI for the Reds, who have won the first two games of the series and six out of their last seven.
Logan Ondrusek (3-0) worked a scoreless 1 1/3 innings to earn the win and Nick Masset worked out of a bases loaded situation in the bottom of the ninth to record his second save for Cincinnati, which is 6-0-1 in its seven series since the All-Star break.
Wells (5-10) was charged with three runs on five hits over seven-plus innings and was saddled with the loss for the Cubs, who have dropped nine of their last ten.
The Chicago right-hander had set down 10 batters in a row before Stubbs broke the string and the tie with his fifth home run of the season against the Cubs.
A single by Hernandez and a walk to pinch-hitter Chris Heisey forced Wells out of the game, as Justin Berg assumed the hill. Bronson Arroyo came on to run for Hernandez and advanced to third when Brandon Phillips grounded into a double play. Paul Janish then singled into left to deliver Arroyo to make it a 3-1 game. Sean Marshall then replaced Berg and got Joey Votto to bounce back to the mound to end the inning.
The Reds tacked on what turned out to be a huge insurance run in the ninth when Laynce Nix reached second base on a dropped pop up and scored on a two- out single to left by Stubbs, who had entered the game mired in a 1-for-37 slump.
Francisco Cordero came on to close out the game in the bottom of the ninth but struggled with his control, walking the bases loaded with one out and hitting Starlin Castro to force in a run to make it 4-2. Cordero was then removed from the hill and replaced by Masset, who struck out Derrek Lee for the second out of the inning.
Aramis Ramirez drew a walk to force in a run that trimmed the lead to one before Marlon Byrd fanned to end the game.
The teams traded runs in the third when Hernandez singled home Stubbs for the Reds and Lee’s scoring fly ball chased home Kosuke Fukodome to tie the game.
Cincinnati leads the season series, 9-3, and has won five of the six games at Wrigley Field…Volquez faced the Cubs for the first time since May 7, 2008. He is 2-0 in three career turns against Chicago…The Reds are 11-1-1 in their last 13 series..Wells fell to 3-1 in six starts against the Reds…The Cubs dropped to 13-26 in one-run games, the most losses by any team in the big leagues in such situations. Cincinnati upped its mark to 51-3 when leading after seven innings.