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Thursday, August 9, 2012
Rapid Reaction: Cubs 5, Reds 3

By Doug Padilla



CHICAGO -- A soggy Thursday night that began with a 1-hour, 20-minute rain delay, ended with the Chicago Cubs scoring four runs over the final four innings for a 5-3 come-from-behind victory against the Cincinnati Reds.

How it happened: Alfonso Soriano crushed a go-ahead two-run home run to center field and the Cubs held on for the victory. It was the 20th of the season for Soriano, matching David Ortiz and Albert Pujols as the only major leaguers to hit 20 home runs for 11 consecutive seasons. He also joins Andre Dawson as the only Cubs to hit at least 20 home runs in each of their first six seasons with the club.

What it means: Chris Volstad's winless streak may have been extended to 22 starts, but at least there is some progress. Volstad got a no-decision Thursday but still had a quality start, giving up three runs over six innings. It’s his second consecutive quality start since being recalled last week. He gave up two runs over seven innings to the Dodgers in his return.

Outside the box: The Starlin Castro roller coaster ride was in full effect Thursday. He returned home after a 1-for-22 road trip and promptly made a fielding error and didn’t appear to run hard after making an early out. But in the sixth inning he crushed a two-run double off the wall to tie the game.

Off beat: That was the mild-mannered Steve Clevenger getting tossed by home-plate umpire Jeff Nelson while batting in the fifth inning on a pitch that was called a ball, of all things. Nelson called a pitch well off the plate a strike and on the next pitch he called it a ball in nearly the identical spot. Clevenger sternly noted the inconsistency and was thrown out. He was replaced during the at-bat by Welington Castillo, who ended up striking out. The bad news for Clevenger: He gets charged with the strikeout.

Up next: The Cubs will send right-hander Justin Germano (1-1, 3.38 ERA) to the mound against the Reds on Friday in the second game of a four-game series. Cincinnati will counter with right-hander Homer Bailey (9-7, 3.98) in the 1:20 p.m. start from Wrigley Field.