The Cubs showed no ill signs of a 2-day “vacation” as they beat the Cincinnati Reds 7-2 on Tuesday night at Wrigley Field. On a cold, drizzly night at the “Friendly Confines”, Rich Harden re-found his form and went 6 strong innings. Harden allowed only 2 earned runs on 3 hits and 2 walks. Harden notched 8 strikeouts – his 3rd consecutive start in which he has struck out at least 8 batters. Harden had good control of all of his pitches – unlike his last game in which he needed 90+ pitches to get through only 3 innings of work.
Micah Hoffpauir drove in 2 runs with a solo home run in the 2nd inning and a sacrifice fly in the 5th inning. Aramis Ramirez had 3 hits and 3 RBI’s for the Cubs, while Ryan Theriot notched 2 more hits – bringing his batting average up to .409 on the young season. Kosuke Fukodome did not have any hits, but he did walk twice and each time Ramirez drove him in with a single.
Aaron Heilman, Carlos Marmol and Luis Vizcaino each pitched well in relief, but Neal Cotts struggled once again – he retired only 1 batter after allowing a walk and a hit. Cotts’ poor outing forced Manger Lou Pinella to bring in Marmol in the 8th inning to quell the Reds’ mini rally.
Good news for the Cubs keeps rolling in. The Cubs are now 8-4 on the season and looking strong.