Cincinnati, OH – Cesar Izturis capped a three-run rally in the 13th inning with the game-winning RBI single, and the Cincinnati Reds outlasted the Chicago Cubs, 5-4, in a marathon 4-hour, 35-minute affair Monday at Great American Ball Park.
Chicago's Luis Valbuena hit a two-run homer off Reds reliever Alfredo Simon (2-1) in the top half of the inning to put the Cubs ahead, but Cincinnati drew even on Jay Bruce's two-run double.
Two batters later, Izturis ripped a liner off Michael Bowden (0-1), and it sailed just past the reach of shortstop Starlin Castro to send the Reds to their seventh win in eight games.
"I got a pitch I could handle," Bruce said of his tying hit. "To come back like that...really says a lot of our team."
Bruce added his first home run of the season earlier in the contest and Jack Hannahan provided a pinch-hit RBI triple.
Castro had an RBI single and extended his hitting streak to 14 games, but was just 1-for-6 and lined out with the bases loaded in the 11th. Nate Schierholtz had three hits in the Cubs' seventh loss in eight tries.
"We just couldn't get the three outs," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. "It's frustrating."
A starting pitching duel between Chicago's Travis Wood and Cincinnati's Mike Leake set the tone for the low scoring affair.
Wood was stellar for the fourth straight start, giving up two runs on four hits with five strikeouts over 6 1/3 frames, while Leake turned in seven strong innings of two-run ball. He allowed eight hits and had five strikeouts.
The Cubs had 11 hits, but once again were miserable with runners in scoring position, going just 2-for-8 and are an abominable 19-for-135 (.141) on the season.
David DeJesus hit leadoff homer to right to start the game and the Cubs took a 2-0 lead in the third when Castro extended his hitting streak by plating Darwin Barney from second with a base hit into right.
The Reds managed just two hits off Wood in the first six innings, but Bruce got them on the board with a homer to begin the seventh. Two batters later, Chris Heisey ended Wood's night when he reached with a single.
Shawn Camp took the mound and got Devin Mesoraco to fly out, but when the Reds went to Hannahan to pinch hit, James Russell was called from the bullpen.
Hannahan ripped a fly into right and it was just out of the reach of Schierholtz's glove. The hit went for a triple off the wall, and Heisey came around to score the tying run, making it 2-2.
Chicago had a chance to jump ahead in the 11th when Castro came to the plate with the bases loaded, but he swung at what would have been ball four against J.J. Hoover and lifted a soft liner into right to end the threat.
The Cubs have had 15 of their first 18 games decided by three runs or less ... For the first time in franchise history, the Reds pitching staff has produced at least 10 strikeouts in five consecutive games ... Cincinnati improved to 11-3 at home this season ... Reds outfielder Shin-Soo Choo, who had reached base in 11 of his last 12 plate appearances coming in, drew two walks and was hit by a pitch for the 10th time this season, setting a club record for the most in any calendar month.