Chicago Cubs Score and Recap (9/3/23): Cubs 15, Reds 7 – Late Offensive Explosion Decides Game

The Cubs were able to bounce back from two difficult losses with a much-needed offensive explosion Sunday afternoon to split the series against the Reds. Cincinnati melted down in the 8th inning and Chicago took advantage, turning the tied game into a blowout.

The Cubs grabbed the lead in the top of the 1st when Cody Bellinger singled home a run against rookie starter Carson Spiers. Jameson Taillon gave it right up in the bottom of the frame, surrendering back-to-back solo shots to TJ Friedl and Spencer Steer.

A Mike Tauchman RBI hit and an Ian Happ sacrifice fly made it 3-2 game in the 2nd, but the Reds responded again the next half-inning with Tyler Stephenson cracking a two-run homer off of Taillon.

Both pitchers settled in a bit after that and it remained 4-3 until the top of the 6th, when Bellinger lifted a game-tying solo dinger to right against lefty reliever Chasen Shreve. Cincinnati got right back on top when Stephenson had an RBI single against Daniel Palencia.

Happ had a clutch two-out base hit off of Ian Gibaut in the 7th to even the score, but the big moment came in the following inning. The Cubs used two singles and a hit by pitch to load the bases on Derek Law with nobody out, which is always a good start.

Reds closer Alexis Díaz took over and was greeted by a two-run single right up the middle by Nick Madrigal. After a misplayed bunt reloaded the bags, Tauchman knocked in another pair and chased Díaz from the game.

Chicago kept it going against Brett Kennedy with a sacrifice fly from Bellinger and a double from Dansby Swanson to make it 12-5. The home team picked up a pair of tallies in the bottom of the frame but a Jeimer Candelario homer and a Happ two-base hit in the 9th provided the 15-7 final margin. (Box score)

Key Moment

The pitch Madrigal hit for the go-ahead single was basically head-high. Somehow he got on top of it and smoked it up the middle.

Why the Cubs Won

They finally woke up on offense and were able to outscore an opponent in a game they did not pitch very well.

Stats That Matter

  • After the homer-happy start, Taillon gave the Cubs big innings to save the gassed bullpen: 5.2 IP, 5 R, 7 H, 7 K, and 0 BB.
  • The ice-cold Swanson had two hits in the 8th inning.
  • Tauchman had his first career four-hit game after hitting below .200 over the past month.
  • Chicago’s 15 runs on Sunday match their total scored over the previous six games combined.

Bottom Line

This was a very important bounceback performance for the North Siders. Losing a third straight contest after two blown leads could have caused things to go sideways in a hurry. Instead, they won and the Reds were not able to gain any ground this weekend.

On Deck

The Cubs return home for another big series with the Giants starting on Labor Day at 1:20pm CT. Justin Steele takes on Logan Webb in a game airing on MLB Network (out of market only), Marquee, and 670 The Score.

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