CHICAGO (AP) — Yu Darvish tossed six innings of two-hit, shutout ball to finally earn his first win at Wrigley Field as a Cub and lead Chicago past the Cincinnati Reds 5-2 on Wednesday.
Kris Bryant and Addison Russell homered for the only hits off Sonny Gray (5-6) as Chicago won for the fifth time in six games.
Jason Heyward drove in two insurance runs with a double as the NL Central leaders took two of three from the Reds to win just their second series since sweeping St. Louis on June 7-9.
Entering Wednesday, Darvish was 0-5 with a 5.50 ERA in 13 starts at the iconic ballpark after signing a six-year, $126 million contract with Chicago in February 2018.
On Wednesday, the right-hander was sharp for the second straight start and didn’t allow a hit until catcher Juan Graterol lined a soft single to center with two outs in the fifth.
Darvish (3-4) also won for the first time anywhere since April 27 at Arizona as he struck out seven, walked none and hit two batters. The right-hander had 12 no-decisions and a loss in his previous 13 starts.
Craig Kimbrel pitched a perfect ninth for his fourth save in five chances.
Gray nearly matched Darvish, allowing just two hits — Bryant’s and Russell’s drives — while striking out eight and walking none through six innings. Nick Senzel and Yasiel Puig drove in runs in the eighth off Brandon Kintzler, but the Reds lost for the sixth time in eight games.
Before Graterol’s hit, Darvish retired 14 of the first 16 Cincinnati batters. The righty hit Scooter Gennett with a pitch with two outs in the second, then struck Derek Dietrich on the right knee to lead off the fifth.
Dietrich was replaced by pinch runner Phillip Ervin after being plunked for the league-leading 21st time and fourth time in three games in Chicago.
Bryant hit his 20th homer and went deep for the second straight day when he lofted the first pitch he saw into the left-center bleachers for a 1-0 Chicago lead.
Russell made it 2-0 in the second with a solo shot to left, his sixth homer.
Senzel was thrown out at the plate in the sixth by third baseman David Bote when he tried to score on Eugenio’s Suárez’s sharp chopper.
Heyward’s two-run double off David Hernandez in the seventh made it 4-0. After the Reds closed to 4-2, Anthony Rizzo singled in a run in the bottom of the inning.
The Reds placed closer Raisel Iglesias on the three-day paternity list and selected Graterol’s contract from Triple-A Louisville. Iglesias is 2-8 with 17 saves in 19 chances. Graterol started Wednesday and batted eighth.
Reds: C Curt Casali (right knee inflammation) didn’t start for the second straight game, but was available off the bench. Kyle Farmer, who was hit in the mask by two foul tips on Tuesday, was listed to start behind the plate before Graterol arrived. … LHP Amir Garrett, on the IL since July 5 (left lat strain), threw 20 pitches off the mound at Wrigley Field before the game.
Cubs: LHP Cole Hamels (left oblique strain) tossed his first bullpen session on Wednesday since getting injured in a start at Cincinnati on June 28.
Reds: LHP Tanner Roark (5-6, 3.99) takes the mound Thursday against St. Louis RHP Dakota Hudson (8-4, 3.48) in the opener of four-game series against the Cardinals in Cincinnati.
Cubs: Following a day off Thursday, LHP Jon Lester (9-6, 3.74) faces San Diego LHP Eric Lauer (5-7, 4.04) on Friday. Lester has won four of his past five starts with a 2.97 ERA during the span.
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