Suarez homers early, Reds hold on for 8-6 win over Cubs


Cincinnati Reds' Eugenio Suarez, right, reacts in the dugout following a three-run home run off Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jon Lester during the first inning of a baseball game, Sunday, June 30, 2019, in Cincinnati. Reds Derek Dietrich, left, looks on. (AP Photo/Gary Landers)

Cincinnati Reds' Eugenio Suarez, right, reacts in the dugout following a three-run home run off Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jon Lester during the first inning of a baseball game, Sunday, June 30, 2019, in Cincinnati. Reds Derek Dietrich, left, looks on. (AP Photo/Gary Landers)


Cincinnati Reds' Eugenio Suarez hits a three-run home run off Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jon Lester during the first inning of a baseball game, Sunday, June 30, 2019, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Gary Landers)


Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jon Lester (34) throws against the Cincinnati Reds during the first inning of a baseball game, Sunday, June 30, 2019, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Gary Landers)


Milwaukee at Cincinnati

By The Associated Press

Milwaukee Brewers (45-39, second in the NL Central) vs. Cincinnati Reds (38-43, fifth in the NL Central)

Cincinnati; Monday, 7 p.m. EDT

PITCHING PROBABLES: Brewers: Adrian Houser (2-2, 2.94 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 39 strikeouts) Reds: Tyler Mahle (2-8, 4.36 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 84 strikeouts)

LINE: Brewers favored by 1 1/2 runs; over/under is 10 runs

BOTTOM LINE:

The Reds are 15-20 against NL Central opponents. The Cincinnati pitching staff as a whole has an ERA of 3.73. Luis Castillo leads the team with a 2.56 ERA.

The Brewers are 22-13 against the rest of their division. Milwaukee has hit 141 combined home runs this season, most in the National League. Christian Yelich leads the club with 29, averaging one every 9.9 at-bats.

TOP PERFORMERS: Eugenio Suarez leads the Reds with 32 extra base hits and is batting .248. Yasiel Puig is 12-for-36 with two doubles, a triple, four home runs and eight RBIs over the last 10 games for Cincinnati.

Yelich leads the Brewers with 48 extra base hits and is batting .328. Orlando Arcia is 7-for-28 with three home runs and seven RBIs over the last 10 games for Milwaukee.

LAST 10 GAMES: Reds: 5-5, .257 batting average, 4.71 ERA, outscored by one run

Brewers: 5-5, .226 batting average, 4.40 ERA, outscored by 10 runs

Reds Injuries: Alex Wood: 60-day IL (back), Wandy Peralta: 10-day IL (hip), Tucker Barnhart: 10-day IL (oblique).

Brewers Injuries: Bobby Wahl: 60-day IL (knee), Brent Suter: 60-day IL (elbow), Jimmy Nelson: 10-day IL (elbow), Corey Knebel: 60-day IL (elbow), Gio Gonzalez: 10-day IL (arm).

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The Associated Press created this story using technology provided by HERO Sports, and data from Sportradar.

CINCINNATI (AP) — With July 4 still a few days off, Eugenio Suarez got an early jump on the fireworks.

Suarez ended his slump with Cincinnati’s longest homer of the season, Anthony DeSclafani pitched six scoreless innings and the Reds held off the Chicago Cubs 8-6 Sunday.

Phillip Ervin and Nick Senzel drove in two runs each, and Raisel Iglesias escaped with a six-out save despite allowing Jason Heyward’s three-run homer in the ninth. Kyle Schwarber also had a late connection for the Cubs.

Chicago starter Jon Lester (7-6) hadn’t lost to the Reds since 2016, a streak of seven straight starts. The Cubs have dropped 3 of 4 and finished June 14-15, their first losing month since May 2017.

“It could’ve been a lot worse,” Chicago manager Joe Maddon said. “We’ve been a .500 team the entire month.”

Yasiel Puig stole two bases a day after a shouting match with Chicago reliever Pedro Strop — Puig was upset after being hit by a 3-0 pitch. He scored after both stolen bases thanks to Ervin’s bloop singles, including one during a four-run eighth. Senzel added a two-run single during the big frame.

“It is always important to add on when you get that chance,” Ervin said. “I was up there trying to fight. I tried to fight off good pitches to get something to hit. He just kept throwing good pitches, and I was just fighting them off. Somehow, those two found some grass.”

Suarez, hitting .155 over his previous 22 games, blasted Lester’s 3-2 pitch a projected 457 feet into a party structure atop the batter’s eye in the first inning. The three-run shot gave him 17 homers this season.

“I didn’t see where Suarez’s drive landed,” Bell said. “It never came down. Geno obviously has good power to be able to do that against a good pitcher. It went a long way, but the main thing is it went over the fence.”

DeSclafani (5-4) ended his day by striking out David Bote with two runners on and celebrated with a fist pump. He struck out seven and allowed five hits and a walk.

“It was nice to have the lead,” DeSclafani said. “I made quality pitches when I needed to. It has been a struggle getting through innings quick and clean.”

Schwarber capped a three-run seventh with his 18th homer. Chicago got the potential go-ahead runs to second and third in the eighth before Iglesias coaxed Albert Almora Jr. into an inning-ending foul popup. Heyward’s shot in the ninth cut the deficit to two, but Iglesias was able to finish his 14th save.

Lester allowed four runs — three earned — on five hits and two walks. He tied his season high with eight strikeouts.

“Their guy pitched better than I did,” Lester said. “One pitch doesn’t define a start for me.”

WHAT HEAT?

Despite a game-time temperature of 88 degrees that rose into the low 90s as the game went on, Lester logged a season-high 117 pitches.

GRUDGING RESPECT

Senzel tipped his batting helmet in the direction of Heyward after Heyward leaped above the right field wall to rob him of a two-run homer in the seventh.

PALM BEACH

The Reds on Sunday wore the sixth of the 15 throwback uniforms they are wearing to celebrate the 150th anniversary of baseball’s first all-professional team. Known as “Palm Beach” alternates and worn in 1936, Sunday’s outfits featured red pants below white jerseys with “Reds” in script over the heart.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Cubs: SS Javier Baez was given the day off until pinch-hitting in the eighth. He has played in 82 of Chicago’s 84 games. … The Cubs are expected to activate RHP Kyle Hendricks from the 10-day injured list in time to start at Pittsburgh on Tuesday. Hendricks hasn’t pitched since June 14 because of right shoulder inflammation.

UP NEXT

Cubs: RHP Adbert Alzolay (1-0) makes his third career appearance, second start and first against the Pirates in the opener of a four-game series at Pittsburgh on Monday.

Reds: RHP Tyler Mahle (2-8) makes his third career start and first of the season against Milwaukee on Monday.

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

Cincinnati Reds’ Eugenio Suarez, right, reacts in the dugout following a three-run home run off Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jon Lester during the first inning of a baseball game, Sunday, June 30, 2019, in Cincinnati. Reds Derek Dietrich, left, looks on. (AP Photo/Gary Landers)
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2019/07/web1_123122132-886572a42a2b4847a7e036824fb31389.jpgCincinnati Reds’ Eugenio Suarez, right, reacts in the dugout following a three-run home run off Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jon Lester during the first inning of a baseball game, Sunday, June 30, 2019, in Cincinnati. Reds Derek Dietrich, left, looks on. (AP Photo/Gary Landers)

Cincinnati Reds’ Eugenio Suarez hits a three-run home run off Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jon Lester during the first inning of a baseball game, Sunday, June 30, 2019, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Gary Landers)
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2019/07/web1_123122132-7ab9a7d9a28343198e43b2884d1289c1.jpgCincinnati Reds’ Eugenio Suarez hits a three-run home run off Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jon Lester during the first inning of a baseball game, Sunday, June 30, 2019, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Gary Landers)

Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jon Lester (34) throws against the Cincinnati Reds during the first inning of a baseball game, Sunday, June 30, 2019, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Gary Landers)
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2019/07/web1_123122132-49e0c22feb0340feb06108cf87c6618e.jpgChicago Cubs starting pitcher Jon Lester (34) throws against the Cincinnati Reds during the first inning of a baseball game, Sunday, June 30, 2019, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Gary Landers)

Milwaukee at Cincinnati

By The Associated Press

Milwaukee Brewers (45-39, second in the NL Central) vs. Cincinnati Reds (38-43, fifth in the NL Central)

Cincinnati; Monday, 7 p.m. EDT

PITCHING PROBABLES: Brewers: Adrian Houser (2-2, 2.94 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 39 strikeouts) Reds: Tyler Mahle (2-8, 4.36 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 84 strikeouts)

LINE: Brewers favored by 1 1/2 runs; over/under is 10 runs

BOTTOM LINE:

The Reds are 15-20 against NL Central opponents. The Cincinnati pitching staff as a whole has an ERA of 3.73. Luis Castillo leads the team with a 2.56 ERA.

The Brewers are 22-13 against the rest of their division. Milwaukee has hit 141 combined home runs this season, most in the National League. Christian Yelich leads the club with 29, averaging one every 9.9 at-bats.

TOP PERFORMERS: Eugenio Suarez leads the Reds with 32 extra base hits and is batting .248. Yasiel Puig is 12-for-36 with two doubles, a triple, four home runs and eight RBIs over the last 10 games for Cincinnati.

Yelich leads the Brewers with 48 extra base hits and is batting .328. Orlando Arcia is 7-for-28 with three home runs and seven RBIs over the last 10 games for Milwaukee.

LAST 10 GAMES: Reds: 5-5, .257 batting average, 4.71 ERA, outscored by one run

Brewers: 5-5, .226 batting average, 4.40 ERA, outscored by 10 runs

Reds Injuries: Alex Wood: 60-day IL (back), Wandy Peralta: 10-day IL (hip), Tucker Barnhart: 10-day IL (oblique).

Brewers Injuries: Bobby Wahl: 60-day IL (knee), Brent Suter: 60-day IL (elbow), Jimmy Nelson: 10-day IL (elbow), Corey Knebel: 60-day IL (elbow), Gio Gonzalez: 10-day IL (arm).

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The Associated Press created this story using technology provided by HERO Sports, and data from Sportradar.