The host Chicago Cubs broke open a tie game by scoring four runs in the sixth inning to record a 10-2 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday afternoon.
Joc Pederson had the big hit in the sixth inning with a two-run single to give the Cubs a 5-2 lead.
The Cubs have won six consecutive games and eight of the past nine. They will go for the series sweep on Sunday afternoon.
Chicago scored twice in the second inning after taking advantage of some defensive miscues from the Reds.
Willson Contreras was at second with one out when David Bote grounded to shortstop Eugenio Suarez, who threw the ball away while trying to catch Contreras going to third.
An infield single by Eric Sogard brought in Contreras for the initial lead. Bote came home on a bunt from starting pitcher Zach Davies.
Davies gave the Cubs another solid outing, throwing five-plus innings while allowing one run on two hits and striking out three.
For the fourth consecutive start, Davies was not involved in the decision; he was pulled in the fifth after walking Suarez.
Chicago reliever Rex Brothers loaded the bases with one out after walking Scott Heineman. Keegan Thompson (3-1) then gave up a two-run double down the right-field line to Tyler Stephenson – the first earned runs off the Cubs bullpen in 38 1/3 innings of work over 13 games.
The Cubs got the lead back in the bottom of the inning. Starter Luis Castillo (1-8) was pulled before Amir Garrett walked Sogard to give Chicago a 3-2 lead.
With bases still loaded, Pederson laced a single into right to score two. Kris Bryant drove in the fourth run of the inning on a single.
Rafael Ortega homered in the seventh before Chicago tacked on three more runs in the eighth. In the top of the inning, Cincinnati’s Nick Castellanos doubled to extend his hitting streak to 15 games.
The Cubs appeared to lose another key player when Bote injured his left shoulder sliding into second in the fourth.
Bote, who drove in the lone run in Chicago’s 1-0 win on Friday with a homer, was helped off the field with his shoulder immobilized.
Chicago currently has 10 players on the IL.
–Field Level Media