Castillo homers twice as Cubs rout Reds
CINCINNATI – Welington Castillo drove in three runs with two home runs, Donnie Murphy added a two-run shot and even pitcher Edwin Jackson smacked one as the Chicago Cubs rolled to a 9-1 victory over the suddenly punchless Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday night.
Jackson hit his second career home run in the seventh inning on his way to his first win in seven starts since July 31. The Reds – who went into the game third in the NL Central, two games behind first-place St. Louis – saw their streak of consecutive scoreless innings reach 15 since a walkoff win over Los Angeles on Sunday. Then Zack Cozart and pinch-hitter Corky Miller hit consecutive doubles with one out in the seventh.
Jackson (8-15) allowed nine hits and one run with four strikeouts in seven innings.
The Cubs earned consecutive wins over Cincinnati for the first time since 2011, when they won on Sept. 7 in Chicago and Sept. 12 in Cincinnati – a span of 36 games. They clinched their first series win at Great American Ball Park since Aug. 3-5, 2009
Reds starter Tony Cingrani, in his second start since coming off the disabled list on Thursday, left the game two outs into the second inning with back spasms. He had been sidelined since August 25 with a lower back strain.
Junior Lake led off the second with a double, giving him a seven-game hitting streak and his fourth streak of seven or more games since he was called up from Triple-A Iowa on July 19. Castillo followed one out later with a 470-foot homer into the upper deck in left field on a full-count pitch. Castillo's fifth homer of the season was his first since Aug. 10. Cingrani (7-4) left the game one out later.
Murphy added his 377-foot, two-run homer down the left field line on the first pitch he saw from Greg Reynolds in the third inning. Lake singled to right and went to second on right fielder Jay Bruce's error, and Darnell McDonald drove him in with a soft single to center field that Shin-Soo Choo appeared to midjudge.
Barney drove in Jackson with a sacrifice fly in the fourth and Murphy added an RBI double in the sixth before Castillo hit his second homer in the seventh — the first multi-homer game of his career.
Notes: The Cubs will use a six-man rotation for the 12-game stretch that started on Monday, allowing RHP Scott Baker to get two more starts as he continues his comeback from Tommy John surgery. They will go back to a five-man rotation for the remaining eight games. "Everybody will get their same amount of starts," manager Dale Sveum said. "Everybody will just get a little bit extra rest. It works out where (LHP Travis) Wood and (RHP Jeff) Samardzija will pitch against the Cardinals (in the season's last series)." ... Reds LHP Sean Marshall said he felt good after throwing 23 pitches off the mound to live batters in simulated game action before Tuesday's game. Marshall has been on the disabled list since May 24 with shoulder tendinitis. ... Reds RHP Johnny Cueto is scheduled to throw about 45 pitches in another set of simulated innings before Wednesday's game. Cueto threw 30 on Sunday as he continues his comeback from a strained muscle below his right shoulder. He's been on the DL since June 29.