CINCINNATI (AP) — Nick Hoerner hit a go-ahead single in the sixth inning and the Chicago Cubs’ bullpen shut down the Cincinnati Reds in a testy 3-2 win on Saturday.
Hoerner drove in Javier Báez with one of his three hits, a two-out single to center field off reliever Sean Doolittle to complete Chicago’s rally from a 2-0 deficit.
Rex Brothers (1-0) struck out all three batters he faced in the sixth, the first three of eight strikeouts piled up by five Cubs relievers over five innings.
The first two batters reached against Craig Kimbrel in the ninth before he regrouped to get the next three for his fifth save.
Cincinnati left-hander Amir Garrett struck out Anthony Rizzo with one out in the eighth and celebrated by punching himself in the chest several times, and he appeared to yell something in Rizzo’s direction. Báez yelled at Garrett from the dugout and Garrett took a few steps in that direction, prompting both benches and bullpens to empty. No punches were thrown and there were no ejections.
Reds starter Luis Castillo (1-3) lasted 5 1/3 innings with the help of two assists by right fielder Nick Castellanos and center fielder Nick Senzel’s diving catch of Kris Bryant’s sinking liner with Ian Happ on second to end the fifth.
Cubs starter Zach Davies escaped bases-loaded jams in the third and fourth. Davies struck out Eugenio Suárez with a changeup to end the third and coaxed Castellanos into a routine groundout to finish the fourth. The only runs Davies allowed were scored by Cincinnati’s first two batters of the game.
The slumping Suárez struck out to end three innings.
Third baseman David Bote’s throwing error on Castellanos’s infield hit opened the door for Cincinnati’s two-run first inning. Davies drove in Hoerner with Chicago’s first run with a safety squeeze in the third. Bote doubled with two outs in the fourth and scored the tying run on Jason Heyward’s single.
Cubs: Brothers was visited on the mound by manager David Ross and a trainer after striking out Mike Moustakas for the second out in the fifth. Brothers stayed in the game.
Reds: Tyler Naquin and Kyle Farmer were each hit by a pitch — Farmer on his right elbow. Both stayed in the game.
Cubs: RHP Trevor Williams (2-2) will make his 15th career appearance against Cincinnati, his first for Chicago. He is 6-3 with a 3.50 ERA.
Reds: Left-handed batters are 5 for 54 (.093), all singles, against RHP Tyler Mahle (1-1) this season.