Depleted Cubs quiet playoff-contending Reds again, win 7-1

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Chicago Cubs' Michael Hermosillo rounds the bases after hitting a two run home run during the second inning of a baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds in Cincinnati, Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2021. (AP Photo/Jeff Dean)

CINCINNATI – Michael Hermosillo homered for the first time since 2018, Ian Happ and Sergio Alcántara also went deep, and the depleted Chicago Cubs beat the Cincinnati Reds 7-1 on Wednesday, taking two of three from their playoff-contending NL Central rivals.

Frank Schwindel and Rafael Ortega also drove in runs for the Cubs, who ended a 12-game skid a day earlier. Schwindel, Chicago's regular first baseman since Anthony Rizzo was dealt to the Yankees at the deadline, had six hits in the series and is batting .329.

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Adrian Sampson, called up from Triple-A Iowa earlier in the day to pitch in the majors for the first time since 2019, held the suddenly quiet Reds to one run and five hits in four innings.

Relievers Manuel Rodríguez (1-2), Rowan Wick, Adam Morgan and Trevor Megill blanked Cincinnati over the final five innings, allowing one hit between them.

Reds starter Tyler Mahle (10-4) gave up five runs and eight hits in five innings. Jeff Hoffman came on in the sixth and promptly surrendered Alcántara's homer.

After exploding for 14 runs in the series opener Monday night, Cincinnati managed a single run in each of the last two games.

The Cubs banged out 12 hits and won for the fourth time in 19 games since trading stars Rizzo, Kris Bryant, Javier Báez and Craig Kimbrel.

Happ's first-inning homer was his second in as many games. Hermosillo, called up from Triple-A on Tuesday, slammed a 441-foot, two-run bomb into the upper deck in left field during a four-run second.

Tyler Naquin homered in the second, the only time Cincinnati got a runner past second base.


Cubs: RHP Adbert Alzolay (hamstring) threw a bullpen session Wednesday.


Cubs: After a day off, Chicago returns to Wrigley Field to open a weekend series Friday against the Kansas City Royals.

Reds: Right-hander Luis Castillo (6-12, 4.51 ERA) is set to go as Cincinnati opens a four-game set with the Miami Marlins.


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