Chicago Cubs Score and Recap (7/28/20): Cubs 8, Reds 5 – Mills Throws Darts, Báez Drops Bombs as Cubs Dispatch Reds

The Cubs offense featured a balanced attack and Alec Mills shut down the Reds en route to an 8-5 win that felt just a tad bit less stressful than Monday night. Chicago handed the Reds a fourth straight loss by scoring in seven consecutive innings, while Mills worked efficiently and pitched mostly mistake-free.

Reds starter Tyler Mahle wasn’t bad in this one, going four innings and only giving up two runs, but David Bell pulled him early and the Cubs took advantage by scoring in every inning off the Reds ‘pen.

Javy Báez was the man of the night on offense, hitting big homers in the 7th and 9th inning after tagging a laser beam to left-center for a meager double in the 5th. Baez was joined by solid performances in the box from Jason Kipnis, who had two hits and an RBI, and David Bote, who homered and singled. Nico Hoerner also showcased his impressive command of the bat with two RBI on a single in the 3rd and a sac fly in the 6th.

On the mound, Mills was exactly what the Cubs need out of a fifth (or any) starter, cruising through six innings with the only blip on the radar being a double and home run to a guy we’ve seen do that a lot, Nicholas Castellanos.

There were some chewed fingernails and a held breaths after Mills left, as the bullpen gave up runs in both the 8th and the 9th. When Ryan Tepera gave up a two run dinger to Freddy Galvis to help the Reds pull to 8-5, the bad memories got really strong. Unfortunately for antacid manurfacturers, Tepera was able to get through the 9th without further incident (box score).

Why the Cubs Won

They put up at least one run in every inning from the 3rd to the 9th and Mills did everything David Ross and fans could have hoped for. That’s a recipe for victory.

Key Moment

It may not have been sexy or all that memorable, but the 6-5-3 double play turned in the 8th inning was exactly what the Cubs needed after what we all witnessed in the 9th last night. Kyle Ryan getting Joey Votto to ground into a DP in a 6-3 game before Eugenio Suárez had a chance to tie it up proved huge.

Stats That Matter

  • Báez now looks totally locked in, ripping a first-pitch double into the left-center gap, taking a 3-0 Amir Garrett pitch into the seats in right field, then putting the icing on the cake with a bomb to center off Michael Lorenzen in the 9th. El Mago went 3-for-5, with 3 R, 3 RBI, and 3 XBH.
  • Mills went 6 IP, giving up only 2 hits and 2 runs thanks to old friend Castellanos.
  • The starters after one round through the rotation: 4-1, 30 IP, 14 H, 6 ER, 26 Ks, 5 BB. Is that something you might be interested in for the rest of the season?
  • Kipnis was gifted a triple in the 3rd because of a ball in the sun, but ripped an RBI single in the 4th to go 2-for-4 on the night.
  • Hoerner continues to prove he belongs in the lineup every day with another pair of runs driven in on an single and a sac fly.
  • Bote went 2-for-3 with a bomb and keeps hitting balls with triple-digit exit velocity. Not bad for a backup utility infielder.

Bottom Line

There was a little less drama in this one, thank goodness. The Cubs are putting a lot of pieces together and Ross is pushing the right buttons while keeping guys fresh. Now it’s just a matter of figuring out the bullpen, which would be a huge boost for morale while lowering blood pressure numbers.

On Deck

The third game of four against the Reds features a superb pitching matchup as Kyle Hendricks takes the ball against Sonny Gray. Hendricks opened the season with a complete game shutout against the Brewers and Gray struck out nine while only giving up one run on the way to the win. First pitch is again at 5:40pm CT on Marquee and 670 The Score.

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