CINCINNATI -- The Fourth of July still will be weeks away, but look for fireworks when the Cincinnati Reds show up in Chicago on June 10 for a four-game series at Wrigley Field against the Chicago Cubs.
Matt Garza virtually promised something explosive after the Cubs came from behind on Sunday to pull out a 5-4, 10-inning win at Great American Ball Park.
Garza, who lasted just four innings in his second start of the season after coming off the disabled list, blamed Cincinnati starter Johnny Cueto for inciting Chicago with a pitch over the head of Cubs leadoff hitter David DeJesus with one out, nobody on base and the Reds leading 4-0 in the sixth inning.
“That just goes to show, don’t wake a sleeping dog,” Garza said. “That’s immature on his part. It’s B.S. on his part -- totally immature. If he wants to say something to me, he knows where my locker is. If he’s got a problem, he can throw at me, and I’ll do the same. Hopefully, he grows the hell up. I hope he hears this. I really don’t care.
“I don’t know if there’s anything between him and [DeJesus], but I’ll stop it. I don’t think you intentionally try to injure somebody. I hope the league looks at it. I don’t want him suspended or anyting. I hope his players talk to him and show him the way it is.”
Cubs manager Dale Sveum agreed that the pitch got his team stirred up.
"[DeJesus] was taking too long to get in the batter's box,” Sveum said. “So Cueto was screwing around and threw the ball over his head. He wasn't trying to hit him. I asked the ump [Bob Davidson] why he gave the warning. He said he knew he wasn't tying to hit him but was following the rules. I asked then why not throw him out? I think it woke us up. At least it woke up the bench."
Unlike the first two games, in which Chicago took an early lead and at least made Cincinnati come from behind, the Cubs fell behind 4-0 before pushing across a run in the seventh and three in the eighth with two outs to tie the score. They won it in the 10th on Welington Castillo’s double, which drove in Scott Hairston. Anthony Rizzo cut the Reds lead to 4-2 in the eighth with a double down the right-field line, his third double in the past two games, and Alfonso Soriano followed with his fifth home run of the season and first since May 13, putting the Cubs in place to snap their losing streak at a season-high six games.
Soriano moved into a tie with Jeff Kent and Norm Cash for 67th place on the career home run list with his 377th. Matt Williams is next with 378.
Garza pitched three shutout innings before the Reds erupted in the fourth. Jay Bruce hit a one-out solo homer; Ryan Hanigan launched a run-scoring drive to straightaway center field on which DeJesus almost made a tremendous diving catch with his back to the plate; and Zack Cozart capped the inning with a bases-loaded, two-run double.
Rust was not the issue, Garza said.
“It was more in-game stuff,” he said. “It’s not something you can do on the sidelines. It only comes from facing hitters. They were fighting off pitches and getting my pitch count up. The bullpen picked me up great. That’s a great sign of growth for the bullpen. It wasn’t a great outing for myself, but it was a great team win.”