By JEFF WALLNER | Associated Press
CINCINNATI (AP) — Joey Votto homered and tripled, then shouted at Cubs reliever Rowan Wick during a tense ending to the Cincinnati Reds' 4-3 win over Chicago on Wednesday night.
Votto had a solo homer in the second inning off Kyle Hendricks (2-5) and a two-run triple in the third as Cincinnati snapped a two-game skid.
Wick brushed back the 16-year veteran in the eighth, then walked him. Votto barked at Wick as he made his way to first base, and he also had words for Chicago's dugout.
Wick said he didn't appreciate the way Votto flipped his bat following the walk.
“I'll be honest, it was a nice bat flip,” Wick said. “I understand he's been in the league a long time and he can do whatever he wants when he walks. I wasn't happy with the pitches that I threw. I got a little frustrated. Feel like he kind of blew it out of the water more than it needed to be.”
Wick, who like Votto is from Canada, said he has no history with his countrymate.
“I don't even know if he knows we're both Canadian,” Wick said.
There's been no love lost between Votto and the Cubs over the years.
“Sometimes it can be overextended and taken too far, but generally speaking, I enjoy that part,” Votto said. "If someone says something to me, no problem, I’ll give it back.”
An inning later, Reds reliever Hunter Strickland plunked Patrick Wisdom. Cubs manager David Ross was ejected by plate umpire Dan Merzel after leaving the dugout to protest. Wisdom scored on Nico Hoerner's pinch-hit single.
“Joey (Votto) walking toward Wick, them hitting Wisdom, two umpires wanting to discuss whether they thought it was intentional or not, and nobody doing that, I just wanted to know why," Ross said. “Pretty commonplace when there's a lot of jawing going on, that the umpires get together. They usually err on the side of warning.”
“I don’t want to comment on what David Ross said," Reds manager David Bell said. "Let the game be played on the field. That’s where it's meant to be played.”
Votto insisted that Strickland, who earned his first save of the season, wasn't intentionally throwing at Wisdom with the Reds leading 4-2 with one out in the ninth.
“No, you don’t put the tying run at the plate with one out," Votto said. “That was absolutely unintentional. We are trying to win a baseball game. We don’t get paid for retribution.”
Luis Castillo (1-2) needed 32 pitches to get through a two-run first for Cincinnati, but he allowed only two hits over his final four innings. He walked one and had a season-high six strikeouts.
Castillo was making only his fourth start after beginning the season on the injured list with a right shoulder strain that caused him to miss all of spring training,
“Luis made a really nice adjustment," Bell said.
Chicago's Ian Happ doubled in two runs in the fifth inning a day after ending a 10-game hitting streak against Cincinnati.
Votto ended a 24-game homerless streak Sunday at Toronto, the longest drought of his career. The triple Wednesday was his first since July 6, 2021 at Kansas City and only the 22nd in his career. Votto hadn't tripled at Great American Ball Park since Aug. 22, 2016. The 38-year-old is the oldest Red to triple since Jeff Conine on April 6, 2007,
Hendricks pitched four innings for his shortest start since April 13. He allowed four earned runs and threw 68 pitches.
Willson Contreras pinch-hit for Chicago in the ninth and was robbed of extra bases by a leaping grab from center fielder Nick Senzel. Contreras had missed the previous four games with a strained right hamstring.
The four-game series between the two NL Central rivals concludes on Thursday afternoon.
“We'll see what happens tomorrow,” Wick said.
Cubs: C Yan Gomes was placed on the 10-day injured list with a left oblique strain.
Reds: Next steps for treatment are being assessed for LHP Justin Wilson, who likely will be out for a while. Wilson has been on the IL since April 27 with a left flexor mass strain. ... RHP Ross Detwiler is on the bereavement list and is due back on Friday.
LHP Justin Steele (1-4, 3.82) is the 11th left-hander in Cubs history to strike out nine or more batters in consecutive starts, and he will look to extend that streak in Thursday's series finale. Rookie RHP Hunter Greene (1-6, 5.49) will make his 11th start for Cincinnati.
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