By MARK GONZALES | Associated Press
CHICAGO (AP) — Patrick Wisdom hit a grand slam and a solo homer en route to a career-high six RBIs, rookie Christopher Morel had a career-high five hits and the Chicago Cubs beat the Cincinnati Reds 15-7 Thursday night.
The Cubs collected 23 hits off five pitchers, tying their season high from a 21-0 rout of the Pirates on April 23. Seven of those hits came in the eighth against outfielder Max Schrock, who allowed a two-run homer to P.J. Higgins and a solo shot to Morel.
“It’s contagious, in a way,” Wisdom said. “We’re feeding off each other’s energy, stringing together good at-bats.”
Wisdom’s slam off Graham Ashcraft capped a five-run second, and he also connected against Dauri Moreta in the sixth. It was his fifth multihomer game. He hit his other grand slam on Sept. 15, 2018 against the Dodgers while a member of the Cardinals.
The Cubs (30-46) won for the third time in four games. The Reds (26-49) lost for the 10th time in 13 games.
Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks (4-6) pitched six innings of six-hit ball and tied a season high with seven strikeouts. Hendricks has allowed two runs in his last 13 1/3 innings.
Joey Votto continued his dominance of Hendricks by hitting a solo home run in the sixth and is batting .415 (17 for 41) with six homers lifetime against Hendricks.
Morel hit an RBI single that knocked out Ashcraft in the third, and he hit a double in the seventh and that set up Narciso Crook’s first major league hit, a double down the left-field line.
“I was thinking, ‘I need to beat this out,’ because I want to get that RBI,“ Crook said.
Morel is 7 for 9 with a double, two homers and four RBIs since being dropped to the ninth spot Wednesday.
Nico Hoerner extended his hitting streak to a career-high eight games with a single in the fourth and finished with three hits.
“He’s in a good place right now,” Cubs manager David Ross said.
Ashcraft (4-2) allowed a career-high seven runs in 2 1/3 innings and has allowed six runs or more in two of his last three starts.
Tommy Pham hit a three-run home run in the ninth off Cubs left-hander Brandon Hughes.
Cubs second baseman David Bote left after four innings due to left shoulder soreness. Bote collided with Hoerner on a groundball single by Votto that scored Pham, but Bote finished the inning. Bote underwent surgery on the same shoulder last season.
The Cubs selected Crook, 26, from Triple-A Iowa prior to Thursday’s game. This marked the first time Crook has been placed on a major league roster after 8 1/2 seasons, 564 games and 1,835 at-bats.
“In my heart, I always knew I was a big leaguer, and I always wanted to prove that to myself,” said Crook, who was drafted by the Reds in the 23rd round out of Rowan College in New Jersey in 2013. “I’m not a quitter.”
Crook grounded into a double play in the fifth in his first at-bat.
Reds: OF Tyler Naquin (left quad strain) started a rehab assignment at Triple-A Louisville. C Tyler Stephenson (right thumb) is scheduled to take live batting practice Friday and start a rehab assignment at Louisville on Sunday. RHP Alexis Diaz (right biceps soreness) will throw live batting practice Saturday and could be activated Monday.
Cubs: OF Jason Heyward (right knee inflammation) was placed on the 10-day injured list, retroactive to June 27. OF Michael Hermosillo was transferred to the 60-day IL. OF Seiya Suzuki (left ring finger sprain) went 2 for 3 with a home run and two RBIs against Columbus in his first game on a rehab assignment for Iowa.
Reds LHP Mike Minor (1-4, 7.71) will open a three-game series Friday night again the Braves. Minor allowed six runs in five innings of a 9-2 loss Saturday against the Giants.
Cubs RHP Adrian Sampson (0-0, 1.69) will face the Red Sox in Friday’s series opener at Wrigley Field. Sampson allowed two runs in five innings of a 5-3 loss Saturday to the Cardinals.
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