CINCINNATI (AP) — Mike Moustakas and Nick Senzel homered in their returns from a COVID-19 scare, Nick Castellanos added a grand slam, and the Cincinnati Reds ended a four-game losing streak by beating the Chicago Cubs 12-7 Wednesday night.
Sonny Gray (2-0) extended his major league record to 35 consecutive starts allowing six hits or less. He gave up only Ian Happ’s double and fanned 11 as he pitched into the seventh inning.
With their virus worries behind them, the Reds had their starting lineup on the field for the first time this season.
“It’s great to have them back,” manager David Bell said. “It was a big deal to have them back together.”
And they had a cheering section. The grounds crew spread throughout a section behind first base and shook noisemakers brought by first baseman Joey Votto.
“I know we needed to come out with a little fire, a little energy,” Gray said. “I was telling the boys we’re coming to play.”
Moustakas and Senzel missed the last three games after feeling sick a day after teammate Matt Davidson went on the injured list because he tested positive for the coronavirus. After passing tests, they returned and helped the Reds to their best run total of the season.
“Oh, it was definitely interesting, sitting at home, taking constant tests and being in constant contact with the trainers and texting with the boys to see how they were doing,” Moustakas said.
Kyle Hendricks (1-1) threw a three-hit shutout against the Brewers in the season opener but couldn’t make it through the fifth inning against Cincinnati. Moustakas had a two-run shot in the fourth, and Hendricks left after Eugenio Suárez’s bases-loaded single an inning later.
Castellanos connected for his fifth career grand slam off Rex Brothers, and Senzel added a solo shot in the 27-minute half inning.
Hendricks gave up seven hits and six runs in 4 1/3 innings, his second straight rough outing at Great American Ball Park. He allowed seven runs in 2 2/3 innings of a 10-1 loss last Aug. 10.
“It was just a battle from the start today,” Hendrick said. “It wasn’t good. I really didn’t do anything well.
“Just one of those days that’s going to happen in baseball.”
TURN THREE …
The Cubs turned their first triple play in 23 years. With the bases loaded in the eighth, Kris Bryant made a diving grab of Shogo Akiyama’s line drive, tagged third base and threw to first, getting runners who left on contact.
Replays showed Bryant might have trapped the ball, and he acknowledged it was a close call after watching the video.
“I was 100% sure I caught it but looking back at it, it was really close,” Bryant said. “I guess I can put that on my list of things I’ve accomplished. I don’t think I’ve turned a triple play in my life so that was pretty cool.”
Cubs: Bryant was back in the lineup after sitting out a game with a sore left elbow, aggravated on a swing over the weekend. He doubled home two runs in the seventh.
Reds: To create a spot for Moustakas, catcher Tyler Stephenson was optioned. Stephenson homered in his first major league plate appearance Monday night.
Cubs: Yu Darvish (0-1) is 3-2 in eight career starts against the Reds with a 3.60 ERA. He gave up six hits and three runs in a loss to the Brewers in his first start.
Reds: Luis Castillo (0-0) is 4-2 in 10 career starts against the Cubs with a 3.56 ERA. In his start against the Tigers on Saturday, he gave up one run and six hits in six innings.
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