Cincinnati, OH, United States (4E Sports) – Luis Valbuena hit a tie-breaking two-run triple in the 12th inning to carry the Chicago Cubs to a 6-4 victory over the Cincinnati Reds in the finale of a five-game series at Great American Ball Park.
With the game tied at 4 and one out in the Cubs’ 12th, Arismendy Alcantara reached on an infield single, his fourth hit of the day. One out later, Starlin Castro singled to set up Valbuena’s hit into the right-field corner.
Valbuena thought he had an inside-the-park home run, despite a 9-3-2 relay throw. The Cubs challenged the call, saying catcher Devin Mesoraco blocked the plate illegally. After a two-minute, 45-second review, the call stood and Valbuena was out.
Blake Parker (1-0) pitched a scoreless 12th to help the Cubs end a six-game misery and improve their record to 39-52. Parker pitched the last two innings, allowing a hit and had three strikeouts.
Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks lasted six innings, allowing four runs on five hits with three walks and seven strikeouts in his Major League debut. In his second big league game, Alcantara drove in three runs and had four hits, and missed hitting for the cycle by a home run.
J.J. Hoover (1-6) absorbed the loss after giving up two runs on four hits with two strikeouts in two innings as the Reds slipped to 49-43.
Both benches emptied in the ninth inning after a fracas between Anthony Rizzo and the Reds’ bench. Rizzo was one of the players yelling from the Cubs’ dugout at Reds pitcher Aroldis Chapman during the Chicago ninth when the left-hander’s pitches buzzed Nate Schierholtz and John Baker.
When Rizzo took the field for the bottom of the inning, someone from the Reds’ dugout yelled at the first baseman, and he threw down his hat and glove and headed for the dugout.
Both benches and bullpens emptied, and there was some pushing and yelling, but no punches thrown.
Hendricks served up three straight hits in the first innings as Brayan Pena hit an RBI double and Ryan Ludwick and Ramon Santiago each hit RBI singles to give the Reds a 3-0 lead.
In the third, Hendricks reached on a fielder’s choice in the third, advanced to third on Chris Coghlan’s double and scored on Alcantara’s sacrifice fly.
Ludwick made it 4-1 with a solo homer with one out in the third, launching an 0-1 changeup from Hendricks into the left-field seats.
In the fifth, Baker was hit by a pitch and Coghlan walked to set up Alcantara’s two-run double with two outs in the Chicago fifth.
In the eighth, Alcantara reached on an infield single that deflected off pitcher Jonathan Broxton and reached third on a throwing error by Pena before scoring on Starlin Castro’s single.