CINCINNATI (AP) - Joey Votto hit a two-run homer in his first
at-bat Saturday, and Jonny Gomes broke the game open with a
bases-loaded single in the seventh off Carlos Zambrano, leading the
Cincinnati Reds to a 14-2 victory over the Chicago Cubs.
Votto extended his hitting streak to seven games when he
connected off left-hander Tom Gorzelanny (1-4), who hadn't allowed
a homer by a left-handed batter. Gomes' single sparked a five-run
rally in the seventh, and Ryan Hanigan added his first career grand
slam an inning later.
Aaron Harang (2-4) struck out a season-high nine in 6 2-3
innings of Cincinnati's most lopsided win this season.
Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro doubled and scored in four
at-bats, a day after he drove in a record six runs during his
debut. He also committed his first error, starting up the Reds'
decisive rally in the seventh.
The Reds have won eight of 12, moving back to .500 by repeatedly
pulling out games in the final innings. They won this one going
away, finishing with their most runs this season.
And Castro, fresh off his unprecedented debut, had a hand in it.
The 20-year-old shortstop doubled off Harang in the top of the
seventh and eventually scored when Arthur Rhodes walked Xavier Nady
with the bases loaded, cutting it to 3-2.
Castro then started the Reds' seventh by botching Orlando
Cabrera's grounder. Second baseman Mike Fontenot followed with
another error, and Sean Marshall walked the bases loaded. Zambrano,
who agreed to move to the bullpen last month, came on and gave up
Gomes' two-run single.
Hanigan drove in Cincinnati's final runs with his first career
grand slam in the eighth off Justin Berg.
Castro had an historic debut on Friday night, hitting a
three-run homer in his first at-bat and driving in a record six
runs during a 14-7 win. A day later, he had a couple of bad moments
in the field.
The first one came in the third inning, when Brandon Phillips
singled to the hole at shortstop - Castro's long throw wasn't even
close. Phillips then stole second by reaching around Castro's tag
to get the base with his left hand, a veteran trick that worked on
the youngest shortstop in Cubs history. Gomes' single made it 3-0.
NOTES: It was 81 degrees at the first pitch on Friday night, 51
degrees on Saturday night. ... The Reds hadn't won a game by more
than four runs. ... The Cubs activated RH reliever Esmailin Caridad
off the 15-day DL. He'd been sidelined since April 12 with a
strained right forearm. Reliever Jeff Gray was optioned to Triple-A
Iowa. ... Struggling LH reliever John Grabow went back to Chicago
for a precautionary MRI on his sore left knee. No problem was
found. Grabow will get a couple days of rest. He's 0-2 with a 9.26