CINCINNATI – Here’s a quick look at the Cubs' 4-2 win in 10 innings over the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday night:
How it Happened: Darwin Barney hit a 10th-inning home run to break a 2-2 tie after the Reds tied it in the bottom of the ninth on a Joey Votto single off Carlos Marmol. The Cubs added one more as Dave Sappelt drove in Julio Borbon. Carlos Villanueva was masterful in allowing just two runs in 8.1 innings. On offense, Alfonso Soriano singled, then stole second and third on consecutive pitches in the second inning before coming home on a Scott Hairston sacrifice fly for the game’s first run. The next pitch, to newcomer Cody Ransom, left the yard in right center. The Reds pulled within one when Chris Heisey homered in the third inning, but Villanueva shut down the Reds down the rest of the way until the ninth, when he walked the leadoff man. Kevin Gregg struck out Votto with the tying runs on base for the save, and Marmol got the win.
What it Means: The bullpen blew another save and manager Dale Sveum will be second-guessed on his decision to pull Villanueva in favor of Marmol, who had pitched two innings the night before. His numbers against Votto are good, but Votto got the best of him, causing the Cubs' sixth blown save of the year. Still, the story of the night was Villanueva. He painted the corners all night long, mixing speeds from 60 to 90 mph. He walked two batters -- one after an error by Ransom -- then promptly induced a double-play grounder by Heisey. It was a masterful performance against a good hitting team but he just couldn’t finish -- or rather wasn’t allowed to. He left after throwing 99 pitches.
Ransom Debut: Ransom not only homered, but played a stellar third base. Even his errant throw to first in the seventh inning came after a diving stop. He had a few more of those and made a nice first impression.