Javier Baez blasted a pair of home runs, and David Bote hit his first long ball of the season as the Chicago Cubs beat the Cincinnati Reds at the Great American Ballpark on Tuesday night.
The win gives the Cubs a 4-1 record to start the season, while also giving the Reds their fourth consecutive defeat after they won their opener against the Detroit Tigers on Friday.
After striking out twice early in the game, Baez got red-hot in the closing stages of the contest, hitting a double in the fifth and then smacking home runs in the seventh and ninth innings to pace a consistent Cubs’ offensive effort.
In fact, the Cubs scored at least one run in each of the final seven innings of the contest as they cruised to the victory.
David Bote and Jason Kipnis each collected a pair of hits and an RBI apiece in the game, while Nico Hoerner drove in a pair of runs in the number nine spot in the batting order.
Alec Mills pitched six strong innings for the Cubs, giving up just two hits and two earned runs to the Reds. His lone blemish came on a home run off the bat of Nicholas Castellanos, his first home run since joining the Reds in the offseason after a strong second half of 2019 with the Cubs.
The Cubs got on the board in the third inning when Hoerner singled to right field, scoring Kipnis. Kipnis then drove in a run of his own with a single that scored Jason Heyward in the fourth inning, putting the Cubs ahead 2-0.
After Castellanos tied the game in the fourth with a home run to right field, Kyle Schwarber broke the tie in the fifth with an RBI single to score Baez.
The Cubs would then add insurance runs in each of the next four innings, with Baez and Bote combining for three home runs on the evening.
For the second straight night, there was some late drama, as Ryan Tepera gave up a home run to Freddy Galvis that cut the Chicago lead to 8-5. He was able to get the final out however, securing the win for the Cubs.
The Cubs will have a great opportunity to secure a series victory on Wednesday when they take on the Reds again in Cincinnati. Kyle Hendricks, who threw a complete game shutout on Opening Day, will take the ball for the Cubs as he faces off against Sonny Gray. First pitch is set for 5:40 p.m., and the game will air on Marquee Sports Network.