Jason Vosler’s three-run blast lifts Reds past Cubs 7-6

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CINCINNATI — Jason Vosler, a non-roster invitee to spring training, hit a go-ahead three-run home run, his second of the season, as the Cincinnati Reds held off the Chicago Cubs 7-6. Cody Bellinger collected his first hit as a Cub: a three-run home run in the first.

“It is so much fun just to watch Jason (Vosler),” Reds manager David Bell said. “He didn’t even start the game but he stayed ready. He is excited to show what kind of player he is. He winds up being a big part of a great win.”

Derek Law stranded the tying and go-ahead runners in the ninth to earn his first save since 2019. Alex Young (1-0) earned the victory.

Bellinger, who was 0-for-11 to begin his Cubs career, launched a 3-1 pitch from Connor Overton with two runners aboard in the first to make the score 3-0.

“Felt like it was coming,” Eric Hosmer said, of Bellinger’s first hit. “He’s hit some hard balls. The ball was flying out at BP today. Just felt like one of those days.”

But it was a rough first inning for Drew Smyly (0-1) too, as the Reds pounded out four straight singles, driving in three runs to tie the score.

“It was a tough first game,” Smyly said. “I got staked a three-run lead early. There’s just a lot of weak contact that was going for hits.”

Hosmer’s two-run double off left-hander Young in the fifth put the Cubs ahead 6-4. He was 0-for-7 coming into the game.

“The first hit is always a relief,” Hosmer said.

Vosler who entered the game as a pinch-runner in the second, hit a go-ahead, three-run home run off Smyly to put the Reds ahead 7-6.

“Can’t give up a three-run homer to a lefty,” Smyly said.

Vosler, a former Cubs minor-leaguer. has two home runs and four extra-base hits in 11 at-bats since making the club.

“It was on my mind a little bit facing the Cubs,” Vosler said. “I got drafted by them. At the end of the day, I’m just trying to put together good at-bats but a three-run shot feels a little better against your former team for sure.”

Cincinnati, which began last season 3-22, is off to a 3-1 start.


Dansby Swanson is the first Cubs player since at least 1901 with at least three three-hit games in the team’s first four games of a season. “Quality at-bat, after quality at-bat,” Cubs manager David Ross said. “Dansby’s been our best player for sure so far.”


Patrick Wisdom was hit by a pitch in the fifth inning, but remained in the game. He said the wrist was not a factor in his sacrifice bunt attempt with two runners on in the seventh which resulted in a pop out to the pitcher. “The matchup favored us to get the runners over to second and third,” Ross said. “It just didn’t work out.” X-rays on Wisdom’s wrist were negative. “I dodged a bullet,” Wisdom said. “Well, I really didn’t dodge it.”


Former Reds catcher Tucker Barnhart was honored with a video tribute in the first inning. Barnhart made 744 appearances for the Reds. He was signed as a free agent by the Cubs in December.


Cubs: LHP Brandon Hughes (left knee inflammation) threw a live BP session on Sunday. He is expected to throw again on April 5.

Reds: CF Jose Barrero, who made his first start in center field since 2021, left the game with right hamstring tightness after his single in the second inning.


Cubs RHP Hayden Wesneski will face Reds RHP Luis Cessa.

McCutchen’s sacrifice fly lifts Pirates to 5-4 win, extends Athletics’ road losing streak to 15

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PITTSBURGH – Andrew McCutchen’s tiebreaking sacrifice fly in the eighth inning lifted Pittsburgh to a 5-4 victory over Oakland on Monday night, extending the Pirates’ win streak to six games and sending the Athletics to their record-tying 15th consecutive road loss.

The 15 straight defeats away from home matches the Athletics’ record since they moved from Kansas City in 1968. Oakland set that mark in 1986.

The major league-worst Athletics (12-50) have lost five games in a row overall. They are on pace to finish the season exactly 100 games under .500 at 31-131.

“It’s tough,” Athletics manager Mark Kotsay said. “Tonight’s game, we didn’t play well enough to win the game. I don’t want to say we gave the game away but there were a lot of instances where we had a chance to capitalize on opportunities and didn’t do it.”

McCutchen also singled and drew three walks to go with two RBIs. The 2013 NL MVP now has 1,998 career hits.

With the score tied at 4, Ji Hwan Bae led off the decisive eighth inning with a single off Sam Moll (0-3) and advanced to third on Austin Hedges’ one-out single. McCutchen’s sac fly plated Bae.

“I was just trying to get the job done. I understand the situation there,” McCutchen said. “We just need to get the run. I was trying to bear down against a hard thrower and trying to get that run in as much as I can, and I was able to do it and have a good at-bat.”

Angel Perdomo (1-0) retired both hitters he faced. and Colin Holdeman pitched a scoreless ninth inning for his first career save. It was an eventful inning for Holderman as the first three batters reached base, but he struck out Carlos Perez with runners on the corners to end it.

“I began my career as a starting pitcher in the minor leagues but ever since I was switched to relief, this has been the goal, to get a save in the big leagues,” Holderman said.

Pittsburgh starter Johan Oviedo gave up three runs and four hits with five strikeouts and two walks.

Oakland left-hander JP Sears did not allow a hit until Mark Mathias’ leadoff single in the fifth but was unable to make it through the inning. Sears was charged with one run in 4 2/3 innings while allowing two hits, walking five and striking out six.

Sears has not allowed more than two runs in five consecutive starts. His nine no-decisions are the most in the major leagues.

Ryan Noda and Brent Rooker had two hits each for the Athletics.

The Athletics tied the score at 4-4 in the eighth inning on pinch-hitter Aledmys Diaz’s run-scoring double. Oakland left the bases loaded, though, when Nick Allen hit an inning-ending flyout.

Consecutive bases-loaded walks keyed a three-run sixth inning that put the Pirates 4-3. McCutchen and Bryan Reynolds each worked bases on balls off Shintaro Fujinami to tie the score at 3-all and pinch-hitter Jack Suwinski followed with a sacrifice fly.

The Athletics opened the scoring in the first inning when rookie Esteury Ruiz reached on catcher’s interference, stole his MLB-leading 30th base of the season and scored on Noda’s single. Seth Brown doubled in a run in the third and came home on Perez’s sacrifice fly to push Oakland’s lead to 3-0.

Connor Joe hit an RBI double for the Pirates in the fifth.

The Pirates drew 10 walks, their most in a game in nearly two years.

“We had a bunch of opportunities that we didn’t capitalize (on), but the thing I think I was most proud of is we got down and we didn’t rush to get back,” Pittsburgh manager Derek Shelton said. “We were still patient.”


Athletics: LHP Kirby Snead (strained shoulder) is expected to pitch in the Arizona Complex League on Tuesday, which will be his first game action since spring training. … RHP Freddy Tarnok (strained shoulder) will throw a bullpen on Tuesday.


Pirates catching prospect Henry Davis was promoted to Triple-A Indianapolis from Double-A Altoona. In 41 games at Double-A this season, the 23-year-old hit .284 with 10 home runs and seven stolen bases.

“He was performing offensively at a level where we felt like he was more than ready to meet the challenges,” Pirates general manager Ben Cherington said. “He improved as an offensive player even since spring training, focusing on the things we were challenging him on. Defensively, he’s made strides too.”

Davis was the first overall selection in the 2021 amateur draft from the University of Louisville.


Athletics RHP James Kaprielian (0-6, 8.12 ERA) will make his first start in June after taking the loss in all four starts in May and face RHP Mitch Keller (7-1, 3.25). Keller has eight or more strikeouts in seven consecutive starts, the longest streak by a Pirates pitcher in the modern era (since 1901).