CINCINNATI — There haven’t been many fun days for the Cubs in August as the team has struggled to find wins since the trade deadline. But after snapping a National League-leading 12-game losing streak with a victory Tuesday, the Cubs looked like they had a lot of fun Wednesday accomplishing something they haven’t in almost a month.
Win a series.
The Cubs left Cincinnati with a bang as their offense got contributions throughout the lineup and exploded for 12 hits in a 7-1 victory against the Reds.
“It feels nice,” manager David Ross said with a smile. “When you go into each series, that’s the goal. To win every game and come out of every series feeling really good. Feels like it’s been a little while since we’ve done that.”
It was the Cubs’ first series win since July 23-25 against Arizona and their first time winning back-to-back games since July 16-17, also against the Diamondbacks.
Outfielder Ian Happ has had a challenging season and hasn’t been able to replicate his performance from 2020. But in a ballpark he has had more success in than any other, Happ ignited the Cubs’ offense.
Happ crushed a no-doubt solo home run in the first inning to give the Cubs a quick 1-0 lead. It’s the first time this season he has homered in back-to-back games.
Happ, who attended the University of Cincinnati, has had more success at Great American Ballpark than any other venue. His 13 home runs at GABP are the second-most at any park outside of Wrigley Field (40) and his 1.222 OPS is his highest in any park, including Wrigley.
The Cubs’ offense had its biggest scoring outburst in the second inning as they plated four more runs against Reds starter Tyler Mahle. Local product Michael Hermosillo got the scoring started by crushing a 441-foot, two-run shot to give the Cubs a 3-1 lead.
Hermosillo, who grew up in downstate Ottawa and attended Ottawa High School, grew up a Cubs fan. In his first start with his hometown team, he had a moment he will never forget.
“It’s definitely crazy. I’m just trying to soak it all in and enjoy it,” Hermosillo said after the win. “Sitting back right now, it’s awesome. Hitting a home run in a Cubs uniform. Being able to like be a part of a win. Obviously, [I’m] kind of speechless just in terms of my emotions, just because I haven’t really realized it completely yet.”
Hermosillo’s homer was just his second in the majors. His first came off right-hander Adrian Sampson, who tossed four innings of one-run ball for the Cubs in the game. That’s something the Cubs starter hadn’t realized.
“I didn’t know that until just now,” Sampson said with a shocked look on his face.
“I never mentioned it. I may have mentioned it to a couple of teammates in Triple-A
that I was close with,” Hermosillo said with a laugh. “I feel like it wasn’t something I was gonna bring up. If he wanted to bring it up, sure.”
The Cubs extended the lead later in the second inning on an RBI single by Rafael Ortega and an RBI double by Frank Schwindel. Schwindel’s double marked his seventh consecutive game with an extra-base hit. It’s the first time any Cubs player has accomplished the feat since Aramis Ramirez from July 22-29, 2009.
Sergio Alcantara added a solo shot in the sixth inning before a Matt Duffy RBI single in the ninth inning made it 7-1.
“I think we’ve been getting contributions from everybody, especially offensively,” Ross said. “When we get contributions from those guys, get good pitching and play good defense, it’s a formula for winning.”