Nicholas Castellanos hit a pair of home runs, and Ian Happ hit a home run and drove in four RBIs as the Chicago Cubs blew out the Cincinnati Reds on Thursday night at Great American Ballpark.
The home runs were the second and third Castellanos has hit with the Cubs as he continued his strong play of late. Happ’s home run was his third of the season, and he scored a pair of runs for good measure in the victory.
In his first game with the Cubs, catcher Jonathan Lucroy went 3-for-5 with two RBIs and a double. The birthday boy also had a solid night, as Anthony Rizzo drove in a run and went 2-for-4 during the offensive explosion for the North Siders.
Cole Hamels only made it through three innings, giving up five runs, but he was bailed out by a strong performance from Tyler Chatwood, who struck out six batters and gave up just one hit in three innings of relief.
The Cubs got on the board right away in the game as Rizzo rifled a double into the right field corner, scoring Kris Bryant and giving Chicago the lead.
The Reds did tie it in the bottom of the first, but the Cubs roared back with four runs in the third. Castellanos homered to left field to give the Cubs a 2-1 lead, then Javier Báez doubled to deep left field, scoring Bryant and putting Chicago in front 3-1. Happ finished off the rally with an RBI single to center field, making it a 5-1 game.
The Reds tied the game with a four-run third inning of their own, but Castellanos answered right back with a home run to right field, putting Chicago ahead for good.
Lucroy drove in his first RBI with the Cubs in the fifth inning, scoring Happ, and Happ turned around and hammered a home run to right field, scoring Albert Almora Jr. and putting the visitors in front 9-5.
Bryant and Lucroy added RBI base hits in the seventh and eighth innings, and the Cubs cruised to victory.
The two teams will play again on Friday evening in Cincinnati, with Yu Darvish set to take the hill.