Extra-base outburst backs Bailey's best start of season
April 20, 2014INDIANA SPORTS PAGE
REDS BASEBALL RELEASE
CHICAGO -- Now that's the Homer Bailey Reds fans know and love. The right-hander earned his first win since inking a six-year, $105 million deal in the offseason, the Reds put together an onslaught of extra-base hits and Cincinnati won its second consecutive series by taking the rubber match from the Cubs, 8-2, Sunday at Wrigley Field.
Reds manager Bryan Price said before the game Bailey's poor start to the season would turn around soon, and that his No. 3 starter was simply struggling with his command. It wasn't always pretty, but Bailey tossed six shutout innings while scattering six hits, walking three and striking out eight.
Bailey only threw one 1-2-3 inning and had to pitch out of several jams. The Cubs put two on with one out in the first but Bailey struck out Nate Schierholtz and got Starlin Castro to pop out to second.
In the third, Emilio Bonifacio singled with one out and tried to take second on a delayed steal. He was initially called safe but Price challenged, and the call was overturned after a review. It was a big overturn for the Reds as Bailey plunked Ryan Sweeney and walked Anthony Rizzo before striking out Schierholtz again.
The Cubs put two more on with one out in the fifth but Bailey retired Rizzo and Schierholtz to strand the pair. Zack Cozart ended the sixth with a nice running catch into the Cubs bullpen down the left-field line, leaving Castro and pinch-hitter Ryan Kalish in scoring position.
The Reds got on the board first with a three-run fourth inning. Todd Frazier singled with one out and scored on Devin Mesoraco's two-out double. Zack Cozart followed with a run-scoring double of his own and Bailey helped his own cause with an RBI single to give the Reds a 3-0 lead.
Cincinnati again did damage the following inning with two outs, again via the double. Back-to-back doubles by Jay Bruce and Frazier made it 4-0 Reds. Ryan Ludwick tacked on one more with a single through the left side, scoring Frazier and chasing Cubs starter Carlos Villanueva.
The Reds went up, 8-0, in the seventh on Bruce's leadoff solo homer and Cozart hit a two-run shot with two outs.
Villanueva, who entered the game with an ERA of 11.57 over two starts and two relief appearances, looked on early. The Reds struck out five times and went 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position through the first three innings before getting on track in the fourth.
Manny Parra struggled in the seventh, allowing two earned runs on three hits and two walks while only recording one out. Sam LeCure came in with the bases loaded and induced Wellington Castillo to hit into an inning-ending double play that kept the Reds lead at 8-2.