The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Sports

July 11, 2014

Cubs score in 12th, avoid 5-game sweep

CINCINNATI — Arismendy Alcantara needed just one day to get the feel of the big leagues.

After going 0-for-4 in his major league debut on Wednesday, the highly regarded Cubs prospect had four hits and scored the tying and winning runs as Chicago snapped a six-game losing streak with a 6-4, 12-inning win over the Cincinnati Reds on Thursday.

“Today, I felt more comfortable,” said Alcantara, who had a double, triple and stolen base before learning after the game that his stay with the Cubs would be extended. “I was just trying to make contact. I was happy I was able to come up and do the job.”

Alcantara and Starlin Castro both reached base with infield singles in the 12th off J.J. Hoover (1-6). Luis Valbuena, 0-for-4 with three strikeouts, sent a ball to deep right field that Skip Schumaker couldn’t catch up with and was thrown out at the plate trying to stretch it into an inside-the-park home run. The out call stood after an umpire crew chief request for a replay review to make sure the new rule regarding home plate collisions wasn’t violated.

Blake Parker (1-0) pitched the last two innings and the Cubs avoided a rare five-game sweep in Cincinnati.

Ryan Ludwick homered, but the Reds couldn’t overcome a lineup missing more than half of its regulars and the loss of starter Homer Bailey to an injury after five innings.

First baseman Joey Votto is on the disabled list, second baseman Brandon Phillips and center fielder both were out after leaving Wednesday’s game with injuries and right fielder Jay Bruce and catcher Devin Mesoraco didn’t start, but the Reds still pounced on Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks for three first-inning runs.

The Reds were hoping to sweep the Cubs in a five-game series for the first time since 1931 but instead failed for the third time to extend a winning streak to six games.

Alcantara recorded his first major league hit — a two-run double in the fourth off Bailey — and drove in three runs. He also scored the tying run in the eighth on Castro’s single off Jonathan Broxton.

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