The Cubs got to christen their new party room Monday night. Addison Russellsmacked a three-run homer in the eighth inning to lift the Cubs to a 5-3 victory over the Reds in the home opener in front of 40,882 at Wrigley Field.
Reds starter Brandon Finnegan held the Cubs hitless over 6 2/3 innings and hit his first career RBI single, but the Cubs rallied with one out in the eighth against Tony Cingrani. Ben Zobrist walked and Cingrani hit Jorge Soler with a pitch before being pulled in favor ofJumbo Diaz. Russell launched the first pitch into the left-field bleachers for his first home run of the season.
Billy Hamilton smacked a solo home run in the third that opened a 2-0 lead. He connected off Chicago starter Jon Lester, for one of five hits off the lefty, who lasted six innings in his second start of the season.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Duv-all out effort: During Finnegan's four-pitch bottom of the first inning, the second out came via a spectacular play. Heyward hit a fly to left-center field, where Adam Duvall ran to his left and made a diving catch. It was the second-straight game of nice defense from Duvall, who helped win Sunday's game vs. the Pirates with a good throw to the plate that prevented the go-ahead run from scoring.
Hamilton homers, sprints: Leading off the top of the third, Hamilton lifted a home run into the basket above the left-field wall for his first homer of the season. Hamilton, who is 5-for-7 lifetime vs. Lester, sprinted around the bases instead of a slower home run trot.
WHAT'S NEXT Reds:Alfredo Simon will get the start when the series at Wrigley Field resumes Wednesday at 8:05 p.m. ET. Simon will take a 1.66 career ERA vs. the Cubs, including a 1.04 ERA at the Friendly Confines.
Cubs: After an off-day Tuesday, John Lackey will make his second start of the season and first at home for the Cubs on Wednesday. Lackey got the win in his debut against the D-backs, but it wasn't pretty. He has a career 2.75 ERA in nine career starts against the Reds. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. CT.