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Happ homers twice to help Cubs destroy Reds again

Quinn Harris / Getty Images Sport / Getty

CHICAGO (AP) — Ian Happ homered twice and the Chicago Cubs easily overcame an early deficit to beat the Cincinnati Reds 16-6 on Wednesday night.

Cristopher Morel, Dansby Swanson and Seiya Suzuki also went deep to help push the Cubs within three games of the NL Central lead and two games back in the wild-card race.

Morel and Gomes each extended their hitting streaks to 10 games, and Michael Fulmer (2-5) pitched 1 2/3 innings of no-hit ball in relief of Drew Smyly.

“I think the (most) impressive part is getting down early and fighting back … it’s not just the homers,” Happ said. “Getting on base, (hitting) the singles that lead to getting pitchers deep in pitch count, and then being able to take advantage of it.”

Joey Votto hit two homers off Smyly, who allowed five runs in 4 2/3 innings. Spencer Steer and TJ Friedl also homered for Cincinnati.

Reds starter Brandon Williamson gave up five runs on four hits in 4 1/3 innings, striking out a season-high seven batters. Buck Farmer (3-5) was the loser.

Chicago had 36 runs Tuesday and Wednesday, its most in a two-game span since June 29-30, 1897.

“It’s hard to get everybody out,” Cubs manager David Ross said. “Nobody’s chasing, nobody’s going outside of what they’re trying to do. … Then you get to the underbelly of the bullpen and you just get to your rhythm and your zones, where you’re trying to do damage.”

Swanson’s 16th homer of the year gave the Cubs a third run in the fourth. Morel’s fifth-inning double drove in another run, and Cody Bellinger’s sacrifice scored Nico Hoerner to tie it at 5.

Suzuki, Jeimer Candelario and Mike Tauchman drove in runs in the sixth, and Tauchman came home on an error to make it 10-5.

After Tauchman hit another RBI double, the Reds had two more errors to give the Cubs a 14-6 lead in the seventh. Happ and Suzuki homered in the eighth.

“The offense is free to go out there and have their at-bats and work as a unit,” Ross said. I feel like it’s just been a really cohesive group throughout the lineup for a while now. So, I think it’s like ‘wow’ when we’re able to put up these types of numbers offensively.”


Cubs: RHP Marcus Stroman (right hip inflammation) was placed on the 15-day injured list, and newly acquired reliever José Cuas was added to the active roster. Stroman’s expected to miss only one start, manager David Ross said.

Reds: After allowing 13 runs across four innings on Tuesday, RHP Ben Lively (right pectoral strain) was placed on the 15-day injured list and RHP Daniel Duarte was recalled from Triple-A.


Cubs RHP Jameson Taillon (5-6, 5.46 ERA) looks to win a third straight start in the series finale Thursday. RHP Luke Weaver (2-3, 6.80) is set to start for the Reds.