CINCINNATI (AP) — Even after a win, the Reds still come away wondering: What’s going to happen next?
Todd Frazier extended his post-derby surge with three more hits on Wednesday, and Mike Leake was solid in what might have been his final start in Cincinnati, leading the Reds to a 9-1 victory over the Chicago Cubs in the opening game of a day-night doubleheader.
Chicago scored a run in the top of the ninth in Wednesday’s nightcap to split the four-game series with a 6-5 win.
Leake (8-5) allowed four hits in eight innings, including Kyle Schwarber’s RBI single. During the game, he thought about how it could be his final start for the Reds with the non-waiver trade deadline approaching.
“Yeah, I was,” Leake said. “Each one from here on could be. It’s very ironic that the first one and the last one could be against the same team.”
Leake made his debut against the Pirates in 2010 and has dominated them lately. The right-hander retired the last 16 batters he faced on Wednesday, extending his streak of success against Chicago.
He hasn’t lost to the Cubs since April 21, 2012, going 5-0 in his last nine starts against them with a 2.68 ERA.
“Pretty much all of my pitches were working pretty well,” Leake said.
Frazier won the All-Star Home Run Derby at Great American Ball Park, then went into an 0-for-10 slump. After getting a day off last Sunday, the third baseman is 6 for 12 with a homer and six RBIs.
Joey Votto added a solo homer off Kyle Hendricks (4-5), who gave up four runs while facing nine batters in the first inning. Billy Hamilton singled with the bases loaded in the seventh off Yoervis Medina as the Reds pulled away.
Schwarber, who grew up in nearby Middletown, hit a tying two-run homer in the ninth on Tuesday night and a solo homer in the 13th inning for a 5-4 win. He became the first Cubs rookie to hit two homers in the ninth inning or later.
Schwarber was behind the plate for the first game of the doubleheader, which started only 12 hours after he caught all 13 innings. He had a pair of singles and drove in a run, leaving him 7 for 14 in the series with five RBIs and a stolen base.
Hendricks entered the game on his best stretch of the season, allowing only one earned run in his last four starts. He gave up a pair of infield singles to open the first, and Votto walked to load the bases. Frazier’s opposite-field double drove in two, and Eugenio Suarez followed with another double on Hendrick’s 16th pitch of the game for a 4-0 lead.
“Just putting the ball in play,” manager Bryan Price said. “Two balls were put in play for infield hits, then there’s a walk and a soft hit by Frazier.”
Cubs manager Joe Maddon was ejected in the fourth inning by first base umpire Adam Hamari for arguing a balk call. It was his third ejection of the season.
Brandon Phillips extended his hitting streak to five games. … Hamilton’s RBIs were his first since June 23. … Anthony Rizzo went 0 for 4, leaving him hitless in his last 13 at-bats. Rizzo, who also was in the All-Star Home Run Derby, is 3 for 25 since.
Cubs: Medina was called up from Triple-A to restock a depleted bullpen for the doubleheader.
Reds: LH Tony Cingrani was activated off the DL to start the second game of the doubleheader as the 26th man. Cingrani went on the DL on June 15 with a strained pitching shoulder.
Cubs: Dallas Beeler starts the second game of the doubleheader as the 26th man. It’s the second time he’s been called up to start a doubleheader game — he also did it against St. Louis on July 7.
Reds: Cingrani makes his first start since June 9 of last season. His last 26 appearances have been in relief.