Published May 07, 2011
CHICAGO – Carlos Pena finally is seeing all the extra work pay off.
Pena led off the ninth with a tying homer and Kosuke Fukudome hit a game-ending single as the Chicago Cubs scored twice in the ninth inning to beat the Cincinnati Reds 3-2 Saturday.
"I have been working really hard every single day," Pena said. "I'm just gonna keep giving it all I have. I have faith in this ballclub and I have faith in myself that at the end of the year we'll be where we want to be."
An out after Pena homered to open the ninth, Blake DeWitt singled up the middle. He advanced to third on Jeff Baker's ground-rule double to center field. Fukudome won it with a two-out single up the middle.
Francisco Cordero (2-1) allowed two runs and four hits while getting just two outs for the Reds, who snapped a three-game winning streak.
"They got the best of me today," Cordero said. "It's going to be one day you come in and you're perfect, one day you get in trouble and get out of it, and one day you'll get in trouble and not get out of it. All you can do is keep your head up and be ready for the next day."
Pena knows something about that. He signed a one-year, $10 million deal with the Cubs last December. He was supposed to provide power from the left side but struggled through April, batting .159 with no homers.
He finally broke out on Tuesday against the Dodgers, hitting his first homer of the season in his 73rd at-bat. He homered again the next day, but neither was as big as the drive to right against Cordero.
"It took the pressure off," Baker said. "He's been hitting the ball like that a lot this year. He hasn't had a whole lot to show for it, but he hit the ball so hard this time, the ball had no choice but to go out."
Pena also had two infield hits to record his first three-hit game since July 29, 2010, when he was with Tampa Bay.
Fukudome also had three hits, and DeWitt also homered for Chicago in his second start of the season. DeWitt started in place of Starlin Castro, who is 0 for 8 with three strikeouts against Reds starter Bronson Arroyo for his career.
Cubs manager Mike Quade also gave Alfonso Soriano the day off. Soriano is batting .186 with 13 strikeouts in 43 career at-bats against the Reds' ace.
Despite shuffling the lineup, Chicago's offense didn't get going until Reds starter Bronson Arroyo exited in the eighth. Arroyo allowed one run on seven hits in 7 1-3 innings, striking out three. He also had a hit. His only blemish came in the fourth, when DeWitt hit a solo shot to right.
"He pitched great today — he pitched outstanding," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "That's a tough one to lose."
But Casey Coleman kept Chicago close, allowing two runs on four hits in six innings. He struck out a career-high six and walked three.
Coleman breezed through six scoreless innings before walking Chris Heisey to lead off the seventh. Ryan Hanigan singled to advance Heisey to third.
Kerry Wood relieved and gave up Fred Lewis' RBI fielder's choice to shortstop. Lewis advanced to second on Arroyo's sacrifice. Lewis scored when Drew Stubbs lined a single to center.
Marcos Mateo (1-1) pitched 1 1-3 scoreless innings for the Cubs.
NOTES: Cincinnati RHP Johnny Cueto is scheduled to come off the disabled list Sunday to make his first appearance of the season. Cueto, who won a career-high 12 games for the Reds in 2010, missed the first month of the season with irritation in his right biceps/triceps. He went 0-2 with a 6.28 in four rehab appearances. ... Reds INF Paul Janish was held out of the Reds lineup Saturday a day after turning his ankle while running the bases. Janish is day to day. ... 1B Joey Votto led off the sixth with a walk to reach base for the 33rd straight game, one shy of the Reds record to start a season.