Franmil Reyes shows off opposite-field power in Cubs’ 7-5 win against the Nationals

With the 11-inning victory, the Cubs are now 5-11 in extra-inning games.

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Cubs designated hitter Franmil Reyes is hitting .346 since joining the club. File photo.

Cubs designated hitter Franmil Reyes is hitting .346 since joining the club. File photo.

AP Photos

WASHINGTON — Franmil Reyes put an easy swing on an outside fastball from Patrick Corbin in the sixth inning Tuesday night, and it jumped off his bat all the way into the right-field seats at Nationals Park. 

“He’s been in a really good place since he’s gotten here,” Cubs manager David Ross said before a 7-5 victory over the Nationals in 11 innings. “He’s worked really hard. I think the timing has come back.”

The solo shot was the second homer of Reyes’ Cubs tenure, showing off his opposite-field power. Since he was claimed off waivers from the Guardians on Aug. 8, he’s hitting .346 in 26 at-bats.

He struggled at the plate to start the season but said he felt like he was making progress before the Guardians designated him for assignment. 

“I saw a lot of things on video [with hitting coach Chris Valaika],” Reyes said. “Like, my back leg was getting out of position, not turning too much. My posture was not consistent — I was going down to chase pitches and all that. But you know these couple games have been way better.”

Besides the numbers he’s putting up, Reyes says he has seen improvement in his swing mechanics when he has looked at video with Cubs hitting coach Greg Brown and assistant coach Johnny Washington

“It’s been awesome,” outfielder Ian Happ said of Reyes’ addition. “Obviously, he’s been swinging well — we love that — but he’s been awesome in the clubhouse, awesome guy to be around, really positive, good energy, which isn’t easy to do when you’re coming to a new team. So that’s been really fun. But he’s a big dude, super strong, and it’s loud when it comes off his bat.”

Reyes’ homer gave the Cubs a 4-0 lead, but the Nationals came roaring back. After reliever Erich Uelmen took over for starter Justin Steele in the seventh, he allowed three hits and a run while recording just one out. Rowan Wick replaced him and got out of the inning, then yielded two home runs in the eighth as the Nationals tied it up. 

The teams jockeyed in extra innings until Patrick Wisdom drove in the go-ahead run in the 11th and Seiya Suzuki added insurance with an RBI single. Mark Leiter Jr. recorded his first career save.

Contreras clashes with fan 

Catcher Willson Contreras hit a go-ahead sacrifice fly to left in the 10th. On his way back to the dugout, he could be seen shouting at a fan in the stands. After the game, he said he didn’t want to get into the details of the exchange but said he’d reacted to something said to him in Spanish.

“If somebody tried to mess up my family, they’re going to [have to go through] me first,” he added. “Whatever they said, it wasn’t healthy. It was not right.”

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