Cubs’ Kyle Schwarber delivers fireworks with HR, ejection and ‘a choice word’
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CINCINNATI — The opener of the Cubs’ four-game series in Cincinnati went so late into Friday night after a long rain delay that the Reds were forbidden by city ordinance from setting off their postgame fireworks.
Javy Baez, Kyle Schwarber and the rest of the Cubs’ hitters spent the rest of the weekend making up for it.
After a bench-clearing incident involving Baez on Saturday, Schwarber drew his first career ejection for arguing a called third strike in the seventh inning Sunday, then got his money’s worth with a heated monologue in ump John Tumpane’s face.
‘‘I was upset with myself and the call,’’ said Schwarber, who had a two-run home run and a bunt single to go with the unusually quick ejection in the Cubs’ 6-1 victory. ‘‘I flipped my bat and said it was high, and I said a choice word in there.
‘‘I don’t want to show him up; I wasn’t looking at him. And then he just threw me out, and that’s when I kind of lost it because I didn’t think that ejection was necessary at all.’’
Schwarber, who bounced his helmet off the ground before turning on Tumpane, provided the emotional punctuation to the Cubs’ 4-2 road trip. At one point, he pushed away would-be peacemaker Baez to continue arguing.
‘‘I knew I wasn’t going to bump him or anything like that,’’ Schwarber said. ‘‘I just wanted to get the explanation of why I got thrown out and kind of argue my case. Javy was just making sure I didn’t do anything stupid, which any good teammate would do.’’
Around the hot spots, the Cubs beat the Reds three out of four, outscoring them 28-7 in the series. That included homers Sunday by Schwarber, Baez and Ben Zobrist.
Schwarber’s drive to right in the second, which was followed immediately by Baez’s homer to left, snapped a 16-game homerless drought for the slugger, the second-longest of his career.
Javy bounces back
One day after getting benched for not running out a grounder during a frustrating game, Baez was one of the stars for the Cubs in the series finale.
He snapped a 2-for-25 skid with a 3-for-4 day at the plate and, after getting the start at shortstop, had the Cubs’ defensive highlight in the fifth. He slid behind the bag to stop a grounder by Joey Votto, slapped the bag with his glove for one out, then jumped to his feet and threw off-balance to get Votto at first.
‘‘Isn’t it great when people are accountable what happens?’’ manager Joe Maddon said. ‘‘That’s the only way you heal and get better. He fessed up. He knows he screwed up [Saturday]; he admitted it. And then he goes out there and shows you why he’s one of the best players in the league today.’’
‘‘You’ve got to turn the page and move on,’’ Baez said.
Left-hander Randy Rosario, who pitched two scoreless innings in Game 1 on Saturday, was optioned back to Class AAA Iowa after being added as the Cubs’ 26th man for the doubleheader.
‘‘He’s got a great arm, great stuff,’’ Maddon said. ‘‘He’ll be back. He’s going to help us.’’