CINCINNATI -- Here’s a quick look at the Chicago Cubs’ 9-1 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday:
How it happened: The Cubs' offense had it going all night long, starting with two-run homers in the second and third innings to stake a lead for Edwin Jackson, while Reds starter Tony Cingrani left the game early with back spasms. Welington Castillo hit a long one in the second off Cingrani, who exited in the third inning. Donnie Murphy promptly homered off of reliever Greg Reynolds, and a few minutes later Darnell McDonald singled home Junior Lake as the Cubs led 5-0 after three. They added a run in the fourth on a Darwin Barney sacrifice fly, then Murphy doubled home another run in the sixth. Castillo went deep again to left center in the seventh, while Jackson did the same a few moments later, the second home run of his career. Jackson got big outs when he needed them on the mound; double-play balls in the third and fifth innings were particularly helpful. He lasted seven innings, giving up one run on nine hits with no walks.
What it means: Castillo’s offensive attack in the second half has him turning into a complete player. His home runs were no-doubters as his patience at the plate has paid off. ... Murphy continues to stake a claim for a roster spot next season, as his 10 home runs have come in just 110 at-bats. ... Jackson had to deal with a very hot night but battled through his seven innings. He showed a lot in not giving in even when there were runners on base. It’s been an up-and-down season for Jackson, now 8-15, but he hasn’t thrown in the towel.
Outside the box: According to ESPN Stats & Information, Castillo’s second-inning home run traveled 443 feet, third farthest for the Cubs this season. Only Anthony Rizzo has hit a longer dinger. Castillo’s went several rows into the upper deck. ... For the second night in a row the Cubs’ starting pitcher didn’t walk a batter, which is impressive considering the Reds came into the series leading the league in that category. ... Before the game, Cubs manager Dale Sveum said he would use a six-man starting staff for the next two turns through the rotation. It means Scott Baker will get two more starts after a shutout performance on Sunday over five innings. For the final eight games, Sveum will stay with a five-man staff, giving Jeff Samardzija, Travis Wood and Edwin Jackson an extra start each.
What’s next: The Cubs go for the sweep on Wednesday, when Samardzija takes on Mike Leake at 11:35 a.m. CT at Great American Ball Park.