CINCINNATI — Nick Castellanos raced home on Craig Kimbrel’s third wild pitch of the seventh inning, and the Cincinnati Reds avoided a doubleheader sweep by topping the Chicago Cubs 6-5 on Saturday night.
Cincinnati took advantage of another rough performance by Kimbrel (0-1), who got off to a tough start this year before stringing together five consecutive scoreless appearances. The right-hander threw half of his 22 pitches for strikes in his shaky outing against the Reds.
Curt Casali reached on a leadoff walk before Freddy Galvis pinch-ran for the catcher. After Mark Payton struck out swinging, Castellanos walked and Aristides Aquino hit a tying RBI single.
Another wild pitch and an intentional walk loaded the bases for Mike Moustakas, who struck out swinging. But Kimbrel threw a wild pitch while facing rookie José García, bringing home the winning run.
Joel Kuhnel (1-0) pitched the ninth for the win.
Cubs 3, Reds 0
CINCINNATI — Yu Darvish scattered seven hits over six innings, Anthony Rizzo homered twice and the Chicago Cubs snapped a three-game skid in the first game of the doubleheader.
Darvish (6-1) allowed two runners past second base and won his sixth straight decision. He walked two and struck out eight to outpitch Cincinnati’s ace, Trevor Bauer.
“It was big for sure,” Darvish said of beating Bauer. “He’s amazing this year. I was thinking before the game, ‘I can’t give them more than two runs.’”
The Reds loaded the bases with two outs in the fifth, but Darvish got Freddy Galvis to ground out weakly to third baseman Nico Hoerner. Jeremy Jeffress pitched the seventh and final inning for his fourth save, and Cincinnati’s three-game winning streak ended.
Rizzo lofted a 1-2 pitch into the first row of seats down the right-field line for his seventh homer of the season and a 2-0 lead. He led off the sixth by clubbing a 1-2 pitch deep to right for his third homer in the last two games, giving him eight on the season.
Rizzo’s homers were the first allowed by Bauer to any current Cub. Bauer (3-2) needed a season-high 112 pitches to get through a season-low 5 1/3 innings and lost his second consecutive start, allowing four hits and three runs with two walks and five strikeouts.
Bauer missed his spot on Rizzo’s second blast.
“I was trying to go down and in with that and it just hung in the zone,” Bauer said. “If you leave it in the zone, that’s one of his power spots, as you saw. The one before that was the third change-up I’ve thrown this year. He couldn’t have been looking for it. I executed it. He was just better than me on that pitch. He floated it out.”
Cubs manager David Ross said his team had plenty of quality at-bats.
“I think it’s just a product of when you have a plan and looking for your pitch and (when) the pitch is not in that zone, being able to take that and not pull the trigger,” Ross said. “Taking pitches is just a product of your plan. That’s really all it is. It’s not, ‘Oh, we’re going to go up here and see how many pitches we can see.’”
Joey Votto went 2-for-4 with a double. He had sat out the previous three games and came in batting .191.
The NL Central-leading Cubs took a 1-0 lead in the second. Kyle Schwarber walked, went to third on Willson Contreras’ single to center and scored on Jason Heyward’s fielder’s-choice grounder.
KEEP IT GOING
In the nightcap, both teams wore the No. 42 jerseys they also wore on Friday to help celebrate Jackie Robinson Day. It also was a nod to MLB paying tribute on Sunday to the 100th anniversary of the launch of the Negro Leagues.
Darvish’s glove slipped off his left hand and fell to the mound while he was delivering a pitch to Freddy Galvis with Mike Moustakas on first base in the fourth inning.
Before the opener, there was a moment of silence to honor the memory of actor Chadwick Boseman, whose many roles included Jackie Robinson in “42.” Boseman died of colon cancer on Friday.
Cubs: C Victor Caratini was charged with a painful error after a Shogo Akiyama swing caught his mitt. Caratini shook his gloved hand, and Akiyama went to first on catcher’s interference.
Reds: LHP Jesse Biddle was placed after the game on the 10-day injured list with a left shoulder impingement. RHP Joel Kuhnel was recalled from the alternate training site.
Cubs: RHP Tyler Chatwood (2-2), who’s scheduled to start Sunday, lasted 1 1/3 innings while giving up three hits and two runs in Chicago’s 7-1 loss at Detroit on Tuesday.
Reds: RHP Luis Castillo (0-4) allowed five hits and three runs, only one earned, in Cincinnati’s 3-2 loss at Kansas City on Tuesday.