Cincinnati, OH, United States (4E Sports) – Dylan Axelrod tossed five scoreless frames while his teammates stole six bases as the Cincinnati Reds defeated the Chicago Cubs, 7-2, in their series finale Thursday at Great American Ball Park.
Axelrod (1-0) labored through the first two innings, needing 58 pitches but he settled down nicely after that, needing 32 to get through the next three frames.
He allowed two hits with three walks and a career-high-tying eight strikeouts as the Reds (65-69) took two of three from the Cubs.
Todd Frazier, Billy Hamilton and Brandon Phillips each drove in two runs while the Reds stole six bases in a game for the first time since May 10, 2006 against the Washington Nationals.
Jay Bruce went 0-for-5 with five strikeouts, marking the first time a Reds batter has been fanned five times in a game since Aug. 20, 2002, when Adam Dunn did so against the D-backs.
Jake Arrieta took the loss in his shortest outing since May 13, lasting just four innings and giving up six runs on six hits with four walks and eight strikeouts as the Cubs dropped to 59-74.
Reds hitters did their part with three-run innings in the second and fourth. In the second, Kristopher Negron led off with a walk and scored on Zack Cozart’s single.
Following an Axelrod strikeout, Hamilton doubled home Cozart and scored on Todd Frazier’s single to make it 3-0.
In the fourth, Cozart singled and stole second again. One out later, Hamilton walked and Frazier followed with another RBI single.
Frazier then stole second base for his second stolen base of the game and 19th of the season. Phillips doubled both Hamilton and Frazier home to make it 6-0.
Cincinnati tacked on another run in the sixth. Cozart doubled to left-center and moved to third when center fielder Arismendy Alcantara bobbled the ball. One out later, Hamilton singled to left to add to the lead.
The Cubs scored their two runs in the ninth on an RBI single by Jorge Soler and a sacrifice fly by Alcantara off Jumbo Diaz.