Jason Heyward’s walk-off homer lifts Cubs to series victory over Reds

Heyward’s blast in the Cubs’ 4-1 victory was his first walk-off home run since May 8, 2019, against the Marlins.

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The Cubs had played as close to seamless baseball as you could through the first nine innings Wednesday. But even after getting solid starting pitching and a great night from the bullpen, they needed a big hit in the 10th to get the victory.

That’s where Jason Heyward came in.

Heyward stepped to the plate with runners on the corners, looking to end the game by putting the ball in play.

He did more than that. Heyward crushed a three-run, walk-off home run off the video board in right field to give the Cubs a 4-1 win and series victory against the Reds

The no-doubter was Heyward’s second walk-off hit this season and his first walk-off blast since May 8, 2019, against the Marlins.

“That’s a fun way to end a baseball game with a guy as good as [Jason] hitting a baseball like that,” interim manager Andy Green said. “Seeing him come through in that moment was a lot of fun.” 

Happ stays hot with another homer

There’s not a hitter in baseball who has been better than Ian Happ. He was close to rock bottom at the plate a month ago but has made quite a turnaround to salvage his season.

Happ continued his red-hot stretch with a mammoth blast in the first inning.

The 444-foot shot nearly landed on Sheffield Avenue and gave the Cubs a quick 1-0 lead.

It was Happ’s third consecutive game with a home run. Since Aug. 13, he has a slash line of .371/.404/.787 with 10 doubles, seven homers and 23 RBI.

“There’s a lot that goes into the work and finding what you think is gonna work for you on a daily basis,” Happ said recently. “The other part is kind of getting away from mechanics and just finding a way to be on time and trusting that you’re on time and you’re going to have the ability to have success.

“There are a couple of mechanical things that are kind of falling into place. But it’s more just being on time and not missing some of those pitches that I was waiting for.”

Mills sparkles in no-decision

Right-hander Alec Mills has thrived since getting a spot in the rotation, and he has been arguably the team’s most consistent starter in the second half.

Mills spun another gem, tossing six innings of one-run ball in a no-decision.

The only run he allowed came in the fourth inning on a solo homer by Joey Votto. He struck out three and walked one.

He is beginning to make a strong case to be in the team’s rotation next season. Mills has allowed three earned runs or fewer in 15 of his 16 starts.

Martini recalled from Triple-A Iowa

The Cubs recalled outfielder Nick Martini from Triple-A Iowa before the game.

Martini will take the spot of outfielder Michael Hermosillo, who went on the 10-day injured list with a strained left forearm and will be out for the rest of the season.

Martini went 1-for-12 in his first stint with the Cubs. He was slashing .267/.387/.444 with 11 homers in 78 games with the I-Cubs.

Hermosillo finished the season with a respectable .737 OPS in 16 games with two doubles and three homers. 

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