Votto extends power surge, Reds roll past Cubs 8-2

Jul 28, 2021, 9:04 AM | Updated: Jul 29, 2021, 1:30 am

CHICAGO (AP) — Joey Votto homered twice for the second consecutive day, going deep in his fifth straight game to match a Cincinnati record as the Reds beat the Chicago Cubs 8-2 on Wednesday night.

Tyler Mahle tossed six scoreless innings for the Reds, who beefed up their bullpen again by acquiring right-hander Mychal Givens from Colorado before the game. Tyler Stephenson and Shogo Akiyama each had two RBIs, and Jesse Winker doubled twice and drove in a run.

The 37-year-old Votto is the ninth hitter in Reds history, dating to 1900, to homer in five straight games. It was his 15th career multi-homer game.

“Homer-wise, this is the best stretch I’ve been on in a short period of time,” said Votto, a six-time All-Star who noted he’s been through hot hitting streaks before. “I’ve never done it with the home run, so it’s a little bit of a new experience.”

The 2010 NL MVP launched a 1-1 curveball from Zach Davies deep into the left-field bleachers leading off the second. Votto tagged Cory Abbott for a two-run shot to center on a 3-1 fastball in the ninth, giving him 19 homers this season and seven during his five-game surge.

It’s coming at a perfect time for the Reds, who need to get on a roll to close ground on NL Central-leading Milwaukee or a wild-card spot.

“He just continues to be fun to watch and contribute in a big way to our wins,” Reds manager David Bell said. “It’s really a pleasure and a joy to watch him at the plate right now.”

Mahle (8-3) scattered five hits and walked one in his first win since June 16. The right-hander battled through some deep counts and was helped by sharp defense, including a couple of nifty catches by right fielder Aristides Aquino.

“That was probably the grindiest game I’ve been a part of,” Mahle said. “To end up going six innings, let alone no runs, was incredible.”

Newly acquired relievers Luis Cessa and Justin Wilson followed with a scoreless inning each in their Reds debuts before Ryan Hendrix allowed two runs in the ninth, on RBI singles by David Bote and Ian Happ.

Nico Hoerner and Patrick Wisdom each had two hits for fading Chicago. The Cubs have dropped two straight and seven of 11.

Davies (6-7) was tagged for four runs and seven hits. The wiry right-hander struck out eight but walked four.

Votto’s opposite-field shot put the Reds ahead 1-0 in the second.

Cubs manager David Ross has noticed some differences in the left-handed-batting Cincinnati slugger.

“He’s changed his stance, taller and hitting for more power to all fields,” Ross said. “A breaking ball from Davies there, he takes it to left.

“Right now he’s just locked in and hitting for power as much as I’ve seen him. I’ve been watching him for a long time and he’s in a pretty good place.”

Winker lined a double to the center-field wall in the third to drive in Cincinnati’s second run.

Stephenson’s long single to the left-field wall in the fifth plated two runs to make it 4-0. Kris Bryant threw out Stephenson at second.

Dillon Maples hit Akiyama with a pitch with the bases loaded in the eighth to force in a run before the Reds scored three in the ninth to pull away.

IN GOOD COMPANY

Other Reds batters to homer in five straight games include current 3B Eugenio Suarez (2018), plus Jay Bruce, Devin Mesoraco, Adam Dunn, Ken Griffey Jr., Johnny Bench, George Crowe and Ted Kluszewski.

PROPPING UP THE ‘PEN

The Reds kept adding arms to their struggling bullpen — and signaled they’re intent on climbing into the playoff hunt — by getting Givens from Colorado on Wednesday for two prospects, RHPs Case Williams and Noah Davis.

On Tuesday, Cincinnati acquired RHP Cessa and LHP Wilson from the Yankees for a player to be named.

The trio gives the second-place Reds relief help as they chase first-place Milwaukee in NL Central. Cincinnati entered Wednesday seven games behind the Brewers and was six games out of a wild-card spot.

The 31-year-old Givens, due to be a free agent after the season, has a 2.73 ERA and 27.4% strikeout rate in 29 2/3 innings for Colorado.

“We looked at all three as potential upgrades to our bullpen right now that can help us for the rest of the year,” general manager Nick Krall said.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Reds: Krall hopes right-handed relievers Michael Feliz, Lucas Sims and Tejay Antone will return within the next month. Krall expects Feliz (right elbow sprain) back in a week to 10 days, and Sims (right elbow sprain) in about two weeks.

Cubs: SS Javier Báez (bruised heel) was held out of the lineup for a third straight day, but was available off the bench. … Hoerner, who started at shortstop, left in the eighth with an oblique strain. Bryant then moved from left field and filled in at shortstop for only the second time in his career. … RHP Jake Arrieta (right hamstring tightness) will throw a bullpen Thursday. The Cubs placed the 2015 NL Cy Young Award winner on the 10-day injured list July 7 after he went 0-5 with a 9.67 ERA in eight starts following a win at Pittsburgh on May 25.

UP NEXT

Reds RHP Luis Castillo (4-10, 4.12 ERA) faces Cubs RHP Alec Mills (4-3, 4.55) in the series finale Thursday afternoon. Castillo is 3-2 with a 1.71 ERA in his last 10 starts after going 1-8 with a 7.22 ERA in his first 11 outings this season.

___

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Brazil's Neymar, runs for the ball during the World Cup group G soccer match between Brazil and Ser...
Associated Press

Neymar lookalike causes havoc in Qatar during World Cup

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — While one Neymar was about to make his return at the World Cup, another was going home after a short — and tumultuous — stint in Qatar. The real Neymar has recovered from an ankle injury and was expected to play Monday against South Korea in the round of 16, while […]
1 day ago
A fan displays a sign in support of Pelé at a Brazilian fan party before the the World Cup round o...
Associated Press

Image of Pelé shines bright for Brazilian fans at World Cup

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — The image of a young Pelé celebrating goals and lifting trophies with Brazil’s national team appeared brightly on the shirts, flags and banners of Brazilian fans gathering before the Seleçao’s World Cup match against South Korea on Monday. The 82-year-old Pelé remained in a hospital in Sao Paulo, recovering from a […]
1 day ago
Kentucky Wildcats' Cason Wallace (22) receives the award as the most valuable player of the NCAA ba...
Associated Press

US college hoops game clashes with World Cup fever in London

LONDON (AP) — Kentucky and Michigan finally played their London game, but organizers aren’t exactly running a fast break to get back to the British capital. The Basketball Hall of Fame London Showcase was delayed because of the coronavirus, and Sunday’s game tipped off an hour before England played Senegal for a spot in the […]
1 day ago
A man poses with a Moroccan flag in Spain's north African enclave of Ceuta, Monday, Dec. 5, 2022. T...
Associated Press

Spain or Morocco? World Cup passions blur in Spanish exclave

CEUTA, Spain (AP) — The World Cup knockout game between Spain and Morocco will bring millions of fans on both sides of the Strait of Gibraltar together around screens in bars and living rooms to see which country will keep alive its dream of soccer glory. Nowhere will loyalties likely be more blurred than in […]
1 day ago
England's Jude Bellingham reacts at the end of the World Cup round of 16 soccer match between Engla...
Associated Press

Believe the hype, Bellingham is lighting up the World Cup

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Jordan Henderson knew exactly who to thank after opening the scoring in England’s 3-0 win against Senegal at the World Cup. Pointing a finger in the direction of Jude Bellingham, Henderson charged over to his teammate, pressed his face nose-to-nose with the teenager and stared intensely into his eyes before embracing […]
1 day ago
France's Kylian Mbappe celebrates scoring his side's third goal during the World Cup round of 16 so...
Associated Press

Mbappé is bringing soccer to a new dimension at World Cup

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Cristiano Ronaldo’s precision. Lionel Messi’s vision. The speed and power of the original Ronaldo — the one from Brazil. Kylian Mbappé is elevating his performance to a new dimension at the World Cup. As Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo play what will likely be their final World Cup, the France and Paris […]
1 day ago
Votto extends power surge, Reds roll past Cubs 8-2