CINCINNATI (AP) — Michael Hermosillo homered for the first time since 2018, Ian Happ and Sergio Alcántara also went deep, and the depleted Chicago Cubs beat the Cincinnati Reds 7-1 on Wednesday, taking two of three from their playoff-contending NL Central rivals.
“If you can come out of there with a series win you feel really good, and it feels like it’s been a little while since we’ve done that,” Cubs manager David Ross said. “That was really just a good offensive team. Our pitching showed up.”
Frank Schwindel and Rafael Ortega also drove in runs for the Cubs, who ended a 12-game skid a day earlier. Schwindel, Chicago’s regular first baseman since Anthony Rizzo was dealt to the Yankees at the deadline, had six hits in the series and is batting .329.
Adrian Sampson, called up from Triple-A Iowa earlier in the day to pitch in the majors for the first time since 2019, held the suddenly quiet Reds to one run and five hits in four innings.
Sampson said he knew when he was called up that he could stake his claim for a spot in Chicago’s rotation.
“Right now it’s almost ‘Game of Thrones’-esque,” he said. “We’re being asked what kind of role do we want to play in this organization going forward. It’s ours for the taking. If you want it, you got to go get it. I really want this job, and I’m going to do everything I can to be successful.”
Hermosillo’s only other major league homer was on Sept. 28, 2018, when he was with the Los Angeles Angels. The opposing pitcher for Texas was Sampson.
“I didn’t feel like that was something I should bring up,” Hermosillo said. Sampson said he didn’t realize it until Wednesday.
SHORTSTOP OF THE FUTURE?
The Reds are getting their first good look this season at their top minor league prospect, Jose Barrero, who had been tearing it up in the minors. Barrero — then known as Jose Garcia — was with the major league club last season for 24 games but hit poorly. The 23-year-old was recalled Tuesday after hitting .303 with 17 home runs and 62 RBIs at Double-A Chattanooga and Triple-A Louisville. He got the start Wednesday and went 2 for 3 with a walk, including a ninth-inning double.