Monday, June 27, 2016

5 alive! Bryant 5-for-5, hits 3 of Cubs' 5 HRs vs. Reds

Plenty of players have hit for the cycle before in Major League history. No one has ever had a full house, at least not the way Kris Bryant did Monday night.
Bryant went 5-for-5 with six RBIs and became the first player in modern MLB history, dating back to 1913, to hit three home runs and two doubles in the same game. He also set a Cubs franchise record with 16 total bases, as Chicago beat the Reds, 11-8, at Great American Ball Park. It was the first three-home run game in Bryant's career. Two of them were mammoth blasts into the upper-deck bleachers in left field.
"I tried to get in on him the first at-bat [a double in the first inning], and then the second at-bat I tried to throw a fastball down and away, and it ended up middle about belt high. He hit it out," said Reds starter Dan Straily. "The next one I tried to throw a slider down and away and tossed it middle high again. He did what good hitters do with those pitches. They do damage with them."
Jake Arrieta, who made history the last time he pitched against the Reds by tossing his second career no-hitter, and Anthony Rizzo added solo home runs for the National League Central leaders. It was just the second win in the last eight games for the Cubs, but they still own the best record in MLB (49-26).
Joey Votto hit two homers for the Reds, who battled back from an 8-3 deficit with four consecutive runs to make it an 8-7 game after seven innings. Bryant and Rizzo hit back-to-back homers with two outs in the top of the eighth inning to give the Cubs some breathing room.
Arrieta earned his 12th win of the season, best in the NL, despite having one of his least effective outings. The ace went five innings and gave up just four hits, but he allowed a season-high five runs and walked a season-high five batters.
"You look at the [radar] guns and the readings and the boards, everything's normal," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "He's just not on top of his fastball regarding where it's going, and that's it."
Bryant's Kris-tening: Bryant's career night included nearly a quarter mile of home runs, according to Statcast™. His first was a 410-foot, one-out solo shot in the third, followed by a 444-foot, three-run shot the next inning. He wasn't done, hitting the history-making 403-foot solo shot in the eighth. Bryant's five hits were a career high, to go along with the other marks he set. More >
Familiar spot: Votto was back hitting in the No. 3 spot in the Reds' lineup Monday. It was just the fourth time in his last 29 starts that he's hit third, a lineup spot he's been accustomed to hitting in during his career. Votto has hit in the No. 2 spot 25 times this season, all since June 1, and has responded with by hitting .309/.425/.521. He went 2-for-4 vs. the Cubs, hitting a pair of home runs to go along with a walk and three runs scored. The dingers were Votto's first since June 7 off St. Louis left-hander Kevin Siegrist, and it was his 12th career multi-homer game.
Arrieta helps himself: Arrieta had a tough night on the mound, but he was able to help himself at the plate. Arrieta went 2-for-3 with a single, a solo homer and two runs scored.
Short stint: Straily had his shortest starting outing of the season, lasting just 3 2/3 innings. He gave up seven earned runs on nine hits with three walks and two strikeouts. He contributed to Bryant's big night by allowing an RBI double in the first inning, a solo home run in the third and a three-run blast in the fourth. Straily's previous shortest outing was on April 23, also against the Cubs, when he went 4 2/3 innings and allowed three earned runs on four hits in a 13-5 Reds victory. It's the only game the Reds have won against the Cubs this season in eight meetings.
"I told a lot of people coming into Spring Training last season, I got asked a lot of questions about him. 'So what do you got on Bryant?' or 'What kind of hitter's he going to be?' Most of the people that asked me, I told them he's going to be a top five hitter in the league as soon as he gets into the big leagues. Not to put any pressure on him, but that's the guy he is, and I saw it from day one. The ability he had to obviously have power to all fields, have very few holes. ... He's not going to hit three home runs every game, but that's what he's capable of, especially if guys continue to make mistakes to him." -- Arrieta, on Bryant's potential to be a future MVP
"That's like the Dave Kingman-Tommy Lasorda question -- three homers and two doubles. So yeah, instead of tearing this place down and going after you right now, I'm just going to acknowledge that he had a great game. I hope to never see it again." -- Reds manager Bryan Price, when asked how impressed he was with Bryant's performance
The night Arrieta threw his no-hitter against the Reds in April was also the night Cincinnati'sHomer Bailey made his first rehab starting assignment of the year. Bailey, who underwent Tommy John surgery last May, threw 67 pitches in 3 2/3 innings at Triple-A Louisville on April 21. He had a setback in his rehab process, but returned to the mound in Louisville on Monday, just as Arrieta returned to the GABP mound. Bailey threw 25 pitches in one inning in this appearance, giving up three hits, including a pair of solo home runs.
In the top of the ninth inning, the Cubs' Albert Almora Jr., who was on first base following a single, was called safe on a pickoff throw attempt by Reds catcher Tucker Barnhart to first baseman Votto. The Reds challenged the call, but after reviewing all relevant angles, replay officials could not determine that Votto had definitively tagged Almora out before he returned to the bag. The call remained as stands.
In the top of the ninth inning, Cubs third baseman Javier Baez roped a ball into right field and attempted to take second base. The throw beat Baez to the base, but he tried to avoid it on the slide. Umpires ruled on the field that Reds shortstop Zack Cozart applied the tag. The Cubs challenged the call, but the call on the field stood.
Cubs: The Cubs send lefty Jon Lester (9-3, 2.10 ERA) to the mound for the second game of a three-game series against the Reds on Tuesday, starting at 6:10 p.m. CT. Lester is coming off six consecutive quality starts, a span in which he's posted a 1.45 ERA over 43 1/3 innings.
Reds: Lefty John Lamb takes the mound for the middle game of three against the Cubs, a 7:10 p.m. start on Tuesday. He is seeking to regain the form that saw him become the first Reds starter this season to go seven-plus innings in back-to-back starts at the beginning of the month. Lamb hasn't been able to go longer than 5 1/3 innings in his last three starts, in which he's allowed nine runs (eight earned) on 14 hits with nine walks.

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