Castro's RBI single in 11th lifts Cubs past Reds, 2-1
Jun. 15, 2015
CHICAGO (AP) — Starlin Castro has been deflecting criticism with game-winning hits.
Castro drove in the winning run for the second straight night with an RBI single in the 11th inning to lift the Chicago Cubs to a 2-1 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday night.
Chris Coghlan doubled just out of the reach of left fielder Kristopher Negron with one out in the 11th inning and scored the winning run on Castro's single to left-center off reliever Burke Badenhop (0-2).
Chicago took three of four in this series and is a season high seven games over .500.
Castro's RBI single in the ninth gave the Cubs the win Saturday night.
"He's starting to really get his mojo back, which is good for us," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said.
The 25 year-old shortstop, in his sixth season with the Cubs, has been criticized at times for his lack of development.
"Because he's been around for a while people may pick on him a little bit more because they kind of expect more out of him. He's still learning and he is listening," Maddon said.
The Cubs won for the eighth time with a game-ending hit.
Billy Hamilton had a career-high five stolen bases — the most in a game since Jacoby Ellsbury stole five on May 30, 2013 — and also tied a Reds record. Hamilton leads the majors with 31 steals.
"I finally got on base to even get a chance to steal a couple of bases. Lately I haven't been getting on base. I haven't been doing my job at the plate," said Hamilton, who came into the game with a .217 average. "If I get on base more, I'll have more opportunities to do this."
Brian Schlitter (1-2), called up from Triple-A Iowa before the game, got two outs in the 11th for the victory.
Cubs reliever Jason Motte pitched out of a no-out bases loaded jam in the ninth inning after a leadoff single by Joey Votto, a double by Todd Frazier, and an intentional walk. Motte got Brayan Pena to pop out, struck out Eugenio Suarez looking, then ended the inning when Negron flied out to center.
Reds starter Anthony DeSclafani pitched 6 2/3 innings, allowing one run and six hits. He struck out five and walked two.
Hamilton led off the sixth inning with a double to left. Then the speedster got a big lead off second on Jon Lester, who rarely makes a pickoff attempt, and stole third. Phillips followed with a run-scoring bloop single. The Reds had another chance at a run when Votto hit it into the gap in the left-center and, Phillips — who has been hobbled with a groin injury — was thrown out at the plate trying to score from first. Originally, home plate umpire Toby Basner called him safe, but it was reversed after a replay review.
David Ross led off the seventh inning with a double off DeSclafani and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Jonathan Herrera. After a walk chased DeSclafani, Dexter Fowler hit a sacrifice fly off Reds reliever Ryan Mattheus to tie the score at 1-1.
After a rough start to June, Lester pitched seven innings, allowing one run and five hits. He came in winless over his previous four outings while pitching to a 10.61 ERA. In his previous start against the Tigers on Tuesday, Lester allowed five runs and nine hits in 4 1/3 innings.
Lester retired the first eight batters he faced in this one. Hamilton singled with two outs in the third and stole second and third, but Lester stranded him by getting Brandon Phillips to ground out.
With a runner on first and two outs in the fifth, Jay Bruce saved a potential run with a diving catch in deep right field, robbing Anthony Rizzo of extra bases.
Reds: Jon Moscot (1-1) is scheduled to make his third career start against Detroit on Monday night. He picked up his first career win in his last start against Philadelphia on Wednesday, allowing two runs and six hits in six innings.
Cubs: Jake Arrieta (6-4) is the scheduled starter in the series opener against Cleveland. In three starts against Cleveland, Arrieta is 1-0 with a 9.20 ERA.
Reds: Phillips, out with a left groin strain, was back in the lineup for the first time since Tuesday.
First base umpire Ron Kulpa got hit on the shoulder from an errant warm-up pitch from Chapman while Chapman was warming up in the bullpen. Kulpa was apparently OK after a visit from a Cubs trainer.
Maddon was 2-0 on replay challenges. In addition to the successful challenge in the top of the fifth, Maddon also had Coghlan's foul ball overturned in the bottom of the inning. After the review indicated that ball dropped inside the line in right, Coghlan was rewarded with a double. In the seventh, Reds manager Bryan Price had a hit by pitch on Rizzo overturned.
This story has been corrected to show Hamilton's first name is Billy instead of Joey.