CHICAGO (AP) –Jonathan India hit a game-clinching RBI single in the ninth inning, and the Cincinnati Reds rallied for a 4-3 win over the Chicago Cubs on Thursday.
Chicago was leading 3-2 when Alejo Lopez’s understudy against Mark Leiter Jr. (2-7) slipped between right fielder Seiya Suzuki and center fielder Rafael Ortega and rolled against the wall for a triple, allowing the Nick Senzel to score from first to equalize. . Lopez headed home when India fielded a left single, his third hit of the game.
“I was just trying to find something hit and put it in the outfield somewhere,” India said. “I squared him up and put him in the infield.”
India have managed 18 of their last 20 games to take their average to 0.266 after missing time with hamstring injuries and a slow start in their second major league season. He pumped his fist after driving in the deciding race.
“It was a very tough game,” India said. “It was back and forth, a run, a run.
“It was a Reds baseball win, a hard-fought win. We pulled it off and came out on top.”
Suzuki doubled and scored in the sixth and put Chicago ahead with a solo shot in the eighth. His 12th homer was a one-liner in the front row of the left-center bleachers at Wrigley Field past Alexis Diaz.
“I had a good barrel on it, but I didn’t know it was going to go over the wall,” Suzuki said through an interpreter. “But I was just praying it would pass and it did.”
Suzuki, a rookie from Japan, had hits in 14 of 17 games, hitting .365 in the streak with three homers and five doubles.
“I feel like I’m getting used to the atmosphere,” Suzuki said. “I face all these pitchers more than once, so I’m kind of getting used to what they’re doing.
“I also feel very good in the box. I just feel like everything is falling into place.”
Diaz (6-2) had five outs for the win. Ian Gibaut rounded a hit in the ninth for his first save.
Cincinnati manager David Bell liked what he saw from his long-term team.
“You have to come back a few times after you’ve been behind,” Bell said. “It can really carry over and just add to knowing how to win games.”
Kyle Farmer started the seventh with a solo shot to hunt Cubs starter Adrian Sampson, who allowed one run on five hits and walked none. Farmer and Jake Fraley each had two hits for the Reds, who won two in a row and three of four.
Nico Hoerner tripled and doubled. Franmil Reyes and PJ Higgins drove in runs for the Cubs, who were down nine of 11.
Reds starter Luis Cessa allowed two runs on three hits in 5 2/3 innings. The right-hander struck out eight and didn’t score in his longest outing since pitching six innings on July 9, 2018 with the Yankees.
Cessa struck out 12 of the Cubs’ first 13 batters and didn’t allow a hit until Hoerner fielded a triple glove from center fielder TJ Friedl to lead the bottom of the fifth. Cessa made his fourth start since joining the Reds’ rotation on August 22 and fifth this season.
Friedl ran back and almost caught Hoerner’s triple in the middle right away, but the ball ricocheted off the strap of his glove.
Hoerner scored on Higgins’ sacrificial volley at middle center when Friedl kicked the line.
Friedl lost the ball in the sun on Suzuki’s double to deep right center with two outs in the sixth. It fell just above his shoulder.
Buck Farmer relieved Cessa and Reyes called with an RBI single to make it 2-0.
Rowan Wick, the Cubs’ third reliever, came in with two out and two in the top of the eighth and Chicago ahead 2-1. The right-hander walked Fraley and rookie Spencer Steer to force the tying run.
THE REDS MOVE
The Reds released INF Colin Moran after singling him out for assignment on Tuesday.
Reds: Senzel was back in the DH roster after missing two games with a sprained right ankle. … RHP Connor Overton, out since May 17 (lower back), threw 29 shots in a game at the Reds’ practice complex in Goodyear, Ariz., on Wednesday, Bell said. Overton is expected to pitch at Triple-A Louisville on Tuesday. … RHP rookie Daniel Duarte (elbow inflammation) was sent to rehab in Louisville. He has been absent since April.
Cubs: All-Star C Willson Contreras, out since Aug. 30, had an MRI confirming his sprained left ankle, a result manager David Ross said was encouraging. Contreras was injured in the Field of Dreams game against the Reds in Dyersville, Iowa on August 11. He continued to play, but the injury worsened and he was placed on a 10-day IL retroactive to September 2. … INF Patrick Wisdom (sprained left ring finger) practiced batting Thursday. … RHP Keegan Thompson (lower back tightness) is expected to kick off a bullpen session on Friday.
Reds: LHP Nick Lodolo (3-5, 3.95 ERA) takes on Brewers RHP Jason Alexander (2-2, 5.03) in Milwaukee on Friday.
Cubs: LHP Drew Smyly (5-8, 3.84) leaves for Chicago Friday against Carlos Rodón of San Francisco (12-7, 2.92).